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January, 17, 2017

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Asia > Philippines
Duterte orders troops to blast militants, hostages
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he has ordered his troops to bomb extremists who flee with their captives in a bid to stop a wave of kidnappings at sea, calling the loss of civilian lives in such an attack "collateral damage."
 
Kidnapped sailors released in Philippines
A South Korean captain and a Filipino crewman abducted by suspected Islamist militants off the southern Philippines were released on Saturday, authorities said, ending a three-month ordeal where they endured beatings and hunger.
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on his way to Australia on Friday after a visit to the Philippines where he pledged US$8.7 billion worth of business opportunities and private investments along with equipment to fight terrorism.
 
Fears of terrorism keep security tight at Manila Roman Catholic event
A massive crowd of mostly barefoot Filipino Roman Catholic devotees on Monday joined an annual procession of a centuries-old statue of Jesus Christ held under tight security due to fears of a possible attack following the killing of a suspected Islamic extremist leader.
 
Endangered turtle given makeover by overeager Filipino volunteers
Apparently unaware of the standard operating procedures in tagging endangered species, newbie volunteers were apprehended after they painted the carapace of a rescued sea turtle.
 
Philippine police raided an Islamic center in Manila and briefly detained scores of people as part of heightened security before a major Catholic festival, a spokeswoman said Sunday.
 
Philippine security forces have recaptured 34 out of 158 inmates who escaped after suspected heavily armed Muslim rebels stormed a jail in the country's south, officials said Thursday.
 
A leader of suspected sympathizers of the Islamic State group was killed Thursday in a clash with Philippine police after resisting arrest at a beach resort in the south, officials said.
 
Over 150 inmates escape in Philippine jail raid
Suspected Muslim rebels staged the Philippines' biggest jailbreak Wednesday when they stormed a dilapidated jail in the violence-plagued south of the country, freeing 158 inmates and killing a guard, authorities said.
 
Russian navy in Manila for goodwill visit
Two Russian navy ships arrived in Manila on Tuesday for a goodwill visit amid President Rodrigo Duterte's moves to bolster ties with Moscow, including a possible weapons deal.
 
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