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11 Die, 2,000 Hurt as Violence Greets Filipino New Year

From Reuters

Eleven Filipinos were killed and about 2,000 injured in firecracker blasts, stabbings and shootings during New Year’s revelry, officials said Sunday.

Police said two people died in blazes sparked in Manila slums by firecracker explosions. Filipinos traditionally set off firecrackers and shoot guns into the air to usher in the New Year.

The state-owned Philippines News Agency, quoting police officials in the capital, said the celebration was relatively peaceful.

Hospital workers said five people were shot to death and 11 injured, most by stray bullets. Three men were stabbed to death and 14 reported hurt in drunken knife fights.

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Killed by Bomb

The news agency said a man died when a homemade bomb hurled at him exploded on his chest.

About 2,000 people were taken to hospitals for cuts, burns and other blast injuries as well as stab wounds, it said.

The firecracker blasts ignited blazes in six Manila districts. More than 14,000 people were reported to have lost their homes in the fires and investigators put initial property damage estimates at about $2.4 million.

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