From Associated Press
January 15, 2006
MANILA - Communist guerrillas disguised as army troops freed nine left-wing activists in a daring raid on a provincial jail south of Manila, officials and a rebel spokesman said today. At least one other inmate escaped during the attack.
The New People’s Army guerrillas, numbering more than a dozen, also ransacked the armory at the Batangas City provincial jail, where they took an undetermined number of firearms and then left aboard two vans without firing a shot late Saturday, officials said.
Five guards at the crowded jail were hogtied and disarmed during the raid, which lasted about 15 minutes, officials said.
Communist rebel spokesman Gregorio Rosal congratulated the guerrillas for the successful assault, saying it showed their ability to launch delicate operations in a key city. The jail is located near a police station in the busy port city near Manila.
"This is contrary to the proud claims by the mercenary police and military that the New People’s Army is getting weak," Rosal said in a statement. "Expect more tactical operations by the NPA."
The nine detainees freed were left-wing activists who had been arrested a few weeks before as suspected rebels or rebel sympathizers.
The assault was among the most daring so far by the rebels, who have escalated their attacks mostly against remote police or army outposts in recent months.
The guerrillas, who have been waging a Marxist rebellion since the late 1960s, are on U.S. and European terrorist lists.