World

Top cop tells addicts: Kill the drug lords

The Philippines' police chief has called on drug users to kill traffickers and burn their homes, as he seeks to maintain momentum in President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial crime war that has claimed some 2,000 lives.

"Why don't you give them a visit, pour gasoline on their homes and set these on fire to register your anger," Mr Ronald dela Rosa said in a speech aired on television yesterday.

"They're all enjoying your money, money that destroyed your brain. You know who the drug lords are. Would you like to kill them? Go ahead. Killing them is allowed because you are the victim."

Mr dela Rosa was speaking on Thursday to several hundred drug users who had surrendered in the central Philippines.

When asked if Mr Duterte supported Mr dela Rosa's call to murder and commit arson, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella denied that was the police chief's intent, AFP reported.

"There is no such call. It's a passionate statement," Mr Abella said.

Meanwhile, Philippine commandos killed 11 Islamic militants on a remote southern island yesterday, an army spokesman said.

Major Filemon Tan said dozens of Abu Sayyaf rebels, a small but brutal group affiliated with Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, were also wounded in a 45-minute gun battle in the jungle of Jolo island.

Reuters quoted him as saying that 17 commandos were wounded.

They had clashed with about 100 Abu Sayyaf militants holding some 20 hostages, including eight Indonesians, five Malaysians, a Norwegian and a Dutch national.

Philippinesdrugspolice