Thu, Aug 24, 2006 - Page 4 News List

NPA guerrillas attack base in south, steal rifles

AP AND AFP , MANILA AND PAGADIAN, PHILIPPINES

Communist guerrillas killed an army officer and seized 29 assault rifles in the southern Philippines in one of their most successful attacks on a military target this year, the army said yesterday.

About 50 New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas attacked a pro-government militia patrol base late Tuesday near Banlag town in southern Bukidnon Province, setting off a gunbattle that killed an army sergeant and wounded a militiaman, an army spokesman said.

Several guerrillas who were wounded during the clash were taken away by other rebels.

In other developments, about 50 guerrillas herded residents of an area in a coastal village in Zamboanga Sibugay province yesterday morning while the rebels rested, ate lunch and collected medicines, an official said.

More than 20 rebels, carrying wounded comrades and looking haggard from hunger, encircled a Protestant school as classes were being held, Senior Superintendent Roseller Arieta said.

The guerrillas then called on nearby residents and herded them all into the school's church where they lectured them on communism and asked for food and medicine, before leaving two hours later.

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