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MANILA - Philippine officials say nine drug suspects have been killed and 117 others have been arrested in police-led raids in a central province, as the government pressed a massive crackdown that has left more than 4,800 suspects dead.

Regional police Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas says nine drug suspects were killed separately in gunbattles with law enforcers in dozens of coordinated raids from Wednesday to Thursday noon in central Cebu province. 

Nearly 1,000 packets of methamphetamine, a banned stimulant, and 78 firearms were seized in the raids.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said his war on drug will be "as relentless and chilling" as when he launched it after taking office in 2016 despite facing two complaints for mass murder before the International Criminal Court and criticism from Western governments and U.N. watchdogs.

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Associated Press