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Communist rebels torch bus in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Suspected communist rebels set a Silver Star passenger bus in a remote village on the outskirts of Legazpi City Thursday night after hijacking it and then getting all passengers off,  a Philippine Army officer said Friday.
The torching of the air-conditioned bus was triggered by the bus company’s refusal to pay the extortion demands allegedly made by the New People’s Army, said Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division.
The Silver Star bus, which was carrying passengers to Manila from Bulan in Sorsogon, was cruising on the Maharlika Highway in the vicinity of the town of Castilla, when four passengers armed with handguns introduced themselves as NPA rebels and hijacked the passenger bus, Guzman said.
The bus was driven to Barangay Cagbacong, a village 30 kilometers from Legazpi City, where it arrived around 7:30 p.m. where three more rebels aremed with high-powered assault rifles were waiting, he added.
Guzman said the passengers were told to get off the bus and the rebels then poured gasoline on the vehicle and set it on fire.
The rebels eventually allowed the passengers to leave on foot and hike 10 kilometers to Castilla in Sorsogon.
12:09 pm | Friday, January 27th, 2012


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