Friday, June 6, 2008

Philippine Maoist rebels raid port, burn trucks

MANILA, June 5 (Reuters) - About 50 heavily armed communist rebels, some wearing ski masks, raided a port in the central Philippines and burned trucks and robbed workers of money and jewellery, police said on Thursday.Isagani Cuevas, regional police chief on the central Panay and Negros islands, said no one was hurt in the raid on Wednesday night."The rebels did not hurt any port worker, but they cut off telephone lines and confiscated mobile phones to prevent them from calling for help," Cuevas told reporters, adding radio communications equipment was also stolen.Cuevas said the rebels burned three delivery trucks of Tanduay Distillers Inc, one of the country's biggest liquor producers, because the company declined to pay monthly "revolutionary taxes" to the guerrillas.Active in 69 of 81 provinces across the country, the rebels are viewed by the government as its most serious security threat, scaring away potential foreign and domestic investors and slowing down economic growth.The 5,000-member rebel group has vowed to step up attacks on private businesses, such as logging, plantations, construction, telecommunications and mines to raise funds and the morale of its fighters

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