15 NPA rebels attack banana plantation in Davao Norte
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines – Over a dozen communist rebels stormed an airstrip owned by a multinational banana company and blasted a parked light plane in
Maragusan, Compostela Valley, on Saturday, police on Sunday said.
An estimated 15 heavily armed New People’s Army guerrillas swooped down on the compound of Dole-Stanfilco Philippines in Mapawa village around 10:20 p.m., Supt. Antonio Rivera, Southern Mindanao police regional spokesperson said.
The rebels forced their way to the company’s hangar located in Purok (Community) Narra, firing at the guardhouse, and planted an improvised explosive device under the S2R-G10 Walter spray plane. The attackers then set off the explosive, damaging the crop duster (RP-R1777), before they fled under the cover of darkness, Rivera said.
Damage to the aircraft was being ascertained, the police spokesperson said.
The company, which owns a vast banana plantation in the upland town of Maragusan, has been subject to attacks by alleged NPA rebels in the past, with banana-laden container trucks being burned, but Saturday’s attack was the first against the firm’s handful fleet of spray planes.
No one was reported hurt during the attack.
Police and military officials have blamed extortion as possible motive.
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