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Philippine Mayor Killed in Gunfight With Police

  • VOA News

Police inspect the contents of the vehicles following an operation in Makilala township, North Cotabato province, in the southern Philippines, Oct. 28, 2016

Police inspect the contents of the vehicles following an operation in Makilala township, North Cotabato province, in the southern Philippines, Oct. 28, 2016

The mayor of a Philippine town, who had been publicly named by President Rodrigo Duterte as being involved in the illegal drug trade, was gunned down by police in a gunfight Friday.

Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saui Ampatuan town and nine other people were killed by police in an exchange of gunfire.

Media reports say the people in the mayor's convoy opened fire on police at a checkpoint in Makilala town in North Cotabato province.

Regional police official Superintendent Romeo Galgo Jr. said, "It was a legitimate anti-drug operation, but the subjects opened fire on our troops."

Duterte won the presidential election earlier this year largely based on his promise to aggressively target drug dealers and criminals.

Philippine police and vigilantes have killed at least 3,600 people for drug use and drug sales since Duterte took office at the end of June.

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