MANILA — Communist guerrillas wearing army uniforms stormed a police station in the southern Philippines, wounding two officers and carting off 18 weapons, officials said on Monday.
Jaime Milla, a regional police chief on the island of Mindanao, said about 100 rebels, some of them in military uniforms, raided the station in Cantilan town on Sunday while four police officers were having lunch.
“They were outgunned and outnumbered but they fought for a few minutes,” Milla said. Hundreds of soldiers rushed to the area but missed the rebels, who fled with 14 assault rifles, three shotguns, a revolver, an undetermined amount of ammunition as well as a two-way radio and office supplies.
Sunday’s attack was the third in as many months in the south by the communist New People’s Army (NPA), which has been waging an armed rebellion in rural provinces since the late 1960s. The southern region of Mindanao has also been impoverished by a long-running Muslim insurgency, which has killed over 120,000 people.
The largely Catholic central government wants to agree a peace deal with the largest Muslim rebel group but talks with the NPA have been stalled since 2004 when the United States and some European states put the communists and its leader, Jose Maria Sison, on terror blacklists.