Battle with insurgents in the Philippines

This item appears on page 20 of the November 2013 issue.

In the southern Philippines on Sept. 9, a group of about 375 militants took over the port city of Zamboanga on Mindanao island and grabbed about 200 civilian hostages. Government forces surrounded the city and began a 3-week battle to retake the city. 

195 of the hostages were freed. The government reported that 137 people were killed during the fighting, including 105 militants, nine civilians, 18 soldiers and five policemen. The city was heavily damaged; more than 10,000 houses were burned down. Close to 120,000 displaced residents are living in evacuation shelters.