KORONADAL, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police say a town mayor and nine of his men have been killed in a gunbattle with anti-narcotics officers in one of the deadliest operations since President Rodrigo Duterte launched a crackdown on illegal drugs.
Police say Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of southern of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town and nine others were killed before dawn Friday when they opened fire from three cars on officers at a checkpoint in Makilala town in North Cotabato province.
According to Superintendent Bernard Tayong, Dimaukom has been named by Duterte as among many politicians suspected to be involved in illegal drugs.
Police estimate more than 3,600 suspected drug dealers and addicts have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30. The crackdown has drawn international concern over extrajudicial killings.
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