The World

The Philippine armed forces went on full combat alert nationwide to guard against any planned attacks by Communist rebels to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the founding of their army. The armed forces spokesman, Col. Honesto Isleta, said the alert would last "as long as necessary," according to the official Philippine News Agency. Since it was founded in the central Luzon region north of Manila on March 29, 1969, the Communist New People's Army has grown from a ragtag band of several dozen fighters to a 24,000-strong guerrilla force that confronts government troops in nearly all of the country's 73 provinces.

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