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Philippine rebels vow to build 25,000-strong force

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 26, 2013 at 7:33 a.m.

DAVAO, Philippines — Philippine communist rebels have vowed to intensify attacks against government troops and build a 25,000-strong guerrilla force, but the military mocked the target as a "dream."

New People's Army guerrillas marked the 45th founding anniversary of their underground party with a clandestine gathering at a mountain lair where they invited journalists in southeastern Agusan del Sur province Thursday.

A communist rebel statement urged the Maoist guerrillas to "wipe out enemy units and seize their weapons" and "increase the number of our Red fighters to 25,000."

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the rebels, whose armed guerrilla strength has dwindled to 4,000, have been on a decline and will not achieve such a target due to many problems, including the loss of community support and infighting.


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