Military says Filipino communist rebels killed 100 troops, police in 447 attacks in 2011

MANILA, Philippines — Communist guerrillas killed about 100 government troops and police and waged 447 attacks last year despite a continuing decline in their 43-year insurgency, the military said Sunday.

The attacks by New People’s Army guerrillas included 31 assaults on mining firms, banana plantations and other businesses that damaged $27 million (1.2 billion pesos) worth of equipment and property, military spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said. The rebels earned nearly $7 million (300 million pesos) from extortion in 2011, he said.

Although the Marxist insurgency, one of Asia’s longest-running, remains the Philippines’ leading security threat, rebel attacks have declined in recent years. The number of armed rebel fighters dropped 7.8 percent last year to 4,043, Burgos said.

The 447 rebel attacks last year were 11 percent fewer than in 2010 and consisted mostly of small assaults on remote detachments, killings, kidnappings, bombing and arson conducted as part of extortion demands, Burgos said. He said only 69 were major assaults, including simultaneous attacks in October on three nickel mining complexes in southeastern Surigao del Norte province that involved more than 200 guerrillas.

About 100 soldiers and troops were killed in rebel assaults last year, down from 184 in 2010, he said.

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