Communist rebels attack new airport

Manila – Communist rebels on Sunday attacked the construction site of a new international airport project in the central Philippines, torching various equipment, police said.

The raid occurred before dawn in the outskirts of Silay City in the central province of Negros Occidental, according to Superintendent Celestino Guara, city police chief.

Guara said at least 50 communist rebels swooped down on the construction site and burned computers and heavy equipment worth 30 million pesos (600,000 dollars).

‘We suspect the communist rebels burned the site because their demand for revolutionary taxes was not met,’ he said.

‘This will delay the construction work because the damaged part was a vital part of the construction,’ he added.

The international airport was one of the infrastructure projects promised by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in July. The facility is being built by a Korean company.

Guara said the rebels introduced themselves as policemen to be allowed inside the site. Once inside, the guerrillas disarmed the security guards and began burning various equipment.

The raid was over in 30 minutes, the added.

Communist rebels have in the past attacked companies and businessmen refusing to pay revolutionary taxes, a main source of funds for their activities.

The guerrillas have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.

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