Suspected drug dealers killed in Manila amid Duterte crackdown

Manila, July 3 (IANS) At least five suspected drug dealers were on Sunday killed in a shootout with police in Manila to emerge as the latest fatalities in newly-installed President Rodrigo Duterte’s avowed crackdown on crime.

Members of the Philippine National Police’s Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) on Sunday examined the bodies of the five men which lay bloodied on a majority Muslim community’s ground in the Philippines capital, Efe news cited an epa (european pressphoto agency) report.

Police Chief Inspector Michael Garcia said authorities had been monitoring the suspected drug dealers for some time.

Around 200 grams of methamphetamine were seized from the scene, along with money and a couple of guns, he added.

No police officers were injured in the shootout, which reportedly began at 7.00 a.m. local time (11.00 p.m. Saturday GMT).

The number of alleged drug traffickers killed in the Philippines since Duterte won last month’s elections has increased by 200 per cent, according to police data.

The tough-talking politician won in a landslide after a campaign dominated by threats to kill tens of thousands of criminals in a relentless war on crime and drugs — two of the biggest issues in the country.

–IANS

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