Thirty two suspected drug dealers were killed in police shootouts in the Philippines on Tuesday night, during the bloodiest 24 hours so far of a state war on drugs that has killed over 7,000 people in the last year.

The police conducted 49 “buy-bust” operations, using undercover officers to attempt to buy drugs from suspected dealers, and 14 raids, in the province of Bucalan, just north of the capital, Manila, said police superintendent Romeo Caramat.

Describing his forces’ actions as “one time, big time”, he said that 25 of these operations had “resulted in armed encounter” during which 32 were killed and 107 were arrested. Officers also confiscated over 200 grams of methamphetamine, 786g of marijuana, and firearms.

Mr Caramat told reporters that while the police tried to avoid casualties during their operations, that “we do not have control of the situation.”

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