Philippine mayor, 9 bodyguards killed in shootout as drug war enters new phase

Baku, October 29, AZERTAC

A mayor on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's wanted list for alleged drugs links was killed along with nine of his guards in a shootout on Friday, police said, as a new phase of a bloody narcotics crackdown zeroed-in on high profile targets, according to The Indian Express.

The 10 men succumbed to their wounds on route to hospital, police said, having opened fire on officers who tried to stop their two vehicles at a checkpoint in Duterte's troubled home province of Mindanao before dawn.

It came as police shift tactics in the controversial war on drugs by focusing on politicians, government officials, celebrities and high-ranking army and police suspected of involvement in the trade. The new plan, called "Project Double Barrel Alpha", was reported exclusively by Reuters on Monday and aims to increase arrests and reduce the bloodshed in a campaign that has claimed more than 2,300 lives since Duterte took office on June 30.

Duterte won a May election on the promises of killing criminals and campaigned under the logo of a clenched fist. Duterte returned from a visit to Japan late on Thursday and during a news conference waved a thick book he said contained names of officials suspected of drug links. The book contains about 3,000 names.

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