The number of drug-related killings in the Philippines since Rodrigo Duterte became president two months ago on a pledge to wipe out the illegal drug trade, has reached around 2,000, according to data released on Tuesday.
There has been popular support for his campaign, but the wave of killings unleashed since his election victory has alarmed rights groups and brought expressions of concern from the United States, a close ally of Manila.
As officials readied a publicity campaign to explain his fight against on narcotics, the Philippine National Police said that close to 900 drug traffickers and users had been killed in police operations from July 1 to August 20. That was an increase of 141 people over a week, on average 20 people a day.
Last week the police said 1,100 other drug-related killings that were not classified as police operations were also being investigated. No new number for that category was given on Tuesday but, together with the new figure for police encounters, the total came to around 2,000.
Duterte won the presidency of the Southeast Asian nation in a May election on a promise to wipe out drugs.
Source: Business Insider Image: Wikimedia Commons