Communist rebels torch light plane in Philippine attack

Other News Materials 9 August 2008 10:37 (UTC +04:00)

Communist rebels torched a light plane during an attack on a banana plantation in the southern Philippines, a military spokesman said Saturday.

The guerrillas swooped down on the plantation in Maco town in Compostela Valley province, 960 kilometres south of Manila, on Friday, said Major Armand Rico, a regional military spokesman, reported dpa.

Rico said the single-seater plane was used by the plantation for aerial spraying of fertilizers.

The rebels disarmed and tied up two security guards, who were later freed unharmed. They also seized a shotgun and a hand-held radio before fleeing.

Last month, the military deployed additional troops to the southern region of Mindanao in the wake of increasing attacks by communist rebels on businesses.

The military said it had recorded about 100 "atrocities" by communist rebels in Mindanao in the first quarter of the year, including extortion attempts against companies and arson.

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