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Philippines' Duterte warns of offensives if rebels attack

Philippines
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The Philippine president has warned that the military is ready to respond with airstrikes and new offensives if communist rebels launch attacks after...

The Philippine president has warned that the military is ready to respond with airstrikes and new offensives if communist rebels launch attacks after both sides lifted separate cease-fires and he announced he was scrapping peace talks with the guerrillas.

President Rodrigo Duterte called the rebels "terrorists" on Sunday as months of steady progress in talks brokered by Norway rapidly turned hostile after New People's Army rebels killed six soldiers and kidnapped two others in fresh violence that enraged the Philippine leader.

Duterte has asked thousands of guerrillas to abandon the nearly half century of bloody rebellion with an offer of land reform and housing, but called on several rebel leaders who were freed to join the peace talks in Europe to return to the country and walk back to prison.

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