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Guerrillas attack Philippine mobile phone facilities

Services disrupted

Marxist guerillas have attacked mobile phone facilities in the Philippines, threatening guards and dousing buildings with petrol.

The attacks, believed to be the work of the New People's Army, disrupted cellular telephone services in five northern Philippine provinces over the weekend Associated Press reports.

No-one was hurt in the orchestrated attacks, which police believe may be part of a plan to extort money from firms such as Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Pilipino Telephone Corporation.

Police chief superintendent Reynaldo Berroya told AP that gangs of seven to eight armed men doused buildings on at least five sites with petrol.

Communist insurgents have been active in the Philippines for more than 30 years and the attacks against the country's mobile phone infrastructure follow the recent suspension of peace talks, called off after a spate of political assassinations. ®

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