Asia

Philippine president ends ceasefire with communist rebels

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ended the government's ceasefire with communist rebels after six months and ordered troops to get ready to resume fighting after the guerrillas lifted their own truce and killed troops in fresh attacks.

Duterte disclosed his decision in a speech Friday two days after the Marxist guerrillas abandoned their own ceasefire, citing the government's refusal to release more political detainees and accusing the military of encroaching into their rural strongholds.

The president says he freed rebel leaders in concessions aimed at fostering peace talks but adds that the guerrillas raised excessive demands that may upset the military.

The prospect of new fighting with the Maoist rebels comes as troops are waging an offensive against Muslim extremist groups in three battlefronts in the country's south.