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Last Updated:  Monday, 31 March, 2003, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
Pepsi facility attacked in India
Leftist rebels have attacked a Pepsi warehouse in southern India have attacked in protest against the US-led war on Iraq.

Police say 10 armed rebels belonging to the outlawed People's War Group (PWG) entered the warehouse in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh state late on Sunday night.

They ordered four employees to leave the premises before smashing cases containing hundreds of Pepsi bottles.

This is the third such attack on American Cola companies in Andhra Pradesh since the Iraq war began.

The Press Trust of India quoted witnesses saying the rebels fired gunshots in the air and shouted anti-war slogans.

The PWG has called on people to boycott American and British goods to protest against what it describes is "naked aggression" by the United States and its allies on Iraq.

"The invasion of Iraq is the imperialist design to control its oilfields besides attempting to redraw boundaries of West Asia in favour of the Anglo-American surrogate state of Zionist Israel," the rebels said in a statement.

Rebel violence

Last week, the rebels bombed a Pepsi warehouse in Andhra Pradesh and attacked shops selling Coca-cola and Pepsi in the state.

Coca Cola and Pepsi
Coke and Pepsi are seen as symbols of the US

No one was hurt in the attacks but the owner of the warehouse said the damage was estimated to be worth more than $20,000.

Police said the rebels left a note at the scene of the blast which said the action was in protest against the American-led attack on Iraq.

The note also demanded immediate withdrawal of US forces from the Gulf.

In late 2001, the PWG targeted the multi-national soft drink companies in the state to condemn the US invasion of Afghanistan.

The PWG is active in five Indian states and says it represents the interests of landless farm workers and peasants.

It targets rich landlords and farmers, accusing them of exploiting the labourers.

Thousands of people have been killed since the rebels began fighting 20 years ago.

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