Philippine typhoon toll 1,249; rebels urge punishment

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  • Death toll rises to nearly 1,250

  • Authorities struggle to identify victims

  • Maoist rebels raise funds for typhoon victims

MANILA, Dec 26 (Reuters) - The death toll in the Philippines from one of the country's worst natural disaster in two decades has risen to 1,249 with about 1,100 missing, disaster officials said on Monday, as communist rebels said people responsible should be punished.

Typhoon Washi sent torrents of water, mud and logs cascading through riverside and coastal villages on Mindanao island in mid-December, destroying more than 10,000 houses and displacing more than 300,000 people, who are mostly in emergency shelters.

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