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Philippines' drug war kills 39 during Holy Week

13 deaths are reported on Easter Sunday alone

Philippines' drug war kills 39 during Holy Week

Families and friends of victims of summary executions join Holy Week rituals in Manila. (Photo by Vincent Go)

April 19, 2017

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Philippine anti-narcotics operations during the Holy Week resulted in the death of 39 people despite appeals made by church leaders against drug-related killings.

The National Monitoring Center of the Philippine National Police reported a total of 131 people killed during operations against illegal drugs from March 1 to April 16 or in the last 47 days.

Of that number, 39 were killed from April 7 to 16, an average of four deaths every day.

National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa earlier announced that there was "no letup" in the government's war against drugs even during the Holy Week.

On Easter Sunday alone, 13 suspected drug users and dealers were killed at the end of what Dela Rosa described as the "uneventful and generally peaceful" observance of Holy Week.

The Philippine National Police announced that it had launched a total of 564 operations against "high value targets" from Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday, resulting in the arrest of 1,004 drug suspects.

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