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AFP says those in Zamboanga are “rogue MNLF”

Government troops take their positions as about 200 Muslim rebels, enraged by a broken peace deal with the Philippine government, held scores of hostages as human shields Tuesday Sept. 10, 2013 in a standoff with government forces for the second day with no solution in sight at the southern port city of Zamboanga, in southern Philippines. More battle-ready troops and police were flown to the southern port city of Zamboanga in a bid to end the crisis. The troops have surrounded the Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas with their hostages in four coastal villages since the crisis erupted Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Government troops take their positions as about 200 Muslim rebels, enraged by a broken peace deal with the Philippine government, held scores of hostages as human shields Tuesday Sept. 10, 2013 in a standoff with government forces for the second day with no solution in sight at the southern port city of Zamboanga, in southern Philippines. More battle-ready troops and police were flown to the southern port city of Zamboanga in a bid to end the crisis. The troops have surrounded the Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas with their hostages in four coastal villages since the crisis erupted Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Suspected members of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who attacked Zamboanga City on Monday should not be identified as MNLF faction, but a “Nur Misuari breakaway group”, an official from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

AFP public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said Wednesday that the group led by MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari is a “rogue MNLF,” stressing that other MNLF factions are cooperating with the government-MNLF peace talks.

Zagala explained that while they have “legitimate demands for peace, their actions means otherwise,” he said in a TV interview.

As of Wednesday morning, more than a hundred civilians continue to serve as human shields for the rogue group in different areas in Zamboanga City. The rebels are also reported to have burned several residential houses in the area.

Leaders of different MNLF factions have disowned the attack, and particularly condemned the act of taking civilian hostages from the area.

Former Cotabato City vice mayor Muslimin Sema has said that their faction remains loyal to their peace agreement with the government.