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Canada sells 16 helicopters to Philippines after drug war row

The Philippines has bought 16 new Bell helicopters from Canada for about US$235 million to strengthen its fight against Islamic militants and other domestic insurgencies, defence officials said Wednesday.
The two governments announced the deal less than three months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clashed with host President Rodrigo Duterte over Philippine drug war killings, on the sidelines of a Manila summit.
The Philippine defence department signed the 12- billion-peso (US$234.8 million) Bell 412EPI deal with the state-run Canadian Commercial Corp, with deliveries set to start in nine months, ministry spokesman Arsenio Andolong told AFP. “These are multi-purpose aircraft for anti-terrorism as well as HADR,” he said, using military lingo that refers to disaster response and humanitarian missions.
Philippine troops and police, beset by Islamist and communist insurgencies, fought a five-month battle last year against Islamic State group supporters in the southern city of Marawi. It is also faced with rising tensions over rival territorial claims in the South China Sea and has been upgrading its navy and air force in recent years.

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