Philippine rebels declare Christmas ceasefire

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iol pic wld philippine communist rebels

AFP

In a file picture taken in 2009 members of the communist New People's Army rebels stand in formation during the 41st founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines at an unspecified location in the hinterlands of Surigao del Sur province. Picture: FILES / Mitchell Maduro

Manila -

Philippine communist rebels have declared a ceasefire to celebrate Christmas and the 45th founding anniversary of their party.

In a statement on Wednesday, the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines directed the New People's Army to be vigilant against attacks by security forces during the December 24 - December 26 and December 31 - January 2 ceasefires. The Maoist party was established on December 26, 1968.

Armed forces spokesman Lt Col Ramon Zagala said the military welcomed the rebel announcement but questioned the limited period covered.

Communist rebels on central Leyte and Samar islands, which were the worst-hit by Typhoon Haiyan, have already declared their own ceasefire up to mid-January because of the devastation caused by last month's storm. - Sapa-AP


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