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Iran tensions

Asia braces for worst after US strike on Iran's Soleimani

Philippines prepares evacuation plans while Thailand and India fear trade impact

Demonstrators attend a protest in Tehran on Jan. 3 against the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani by American forces.   © Reuters

MANILA/JAKARTA/BANGKOK -- Asian governments are warily watching the U.S.-Iran face-off, with the Philippines making preparations to extract thousands of its citizens from the Middle East.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday afternoon held an emergency meeting with top defense, military and police officials. "The president has tasked the [military] to prepare its air and naval assets to evacuate and bring home our countrymen if and when open hostilities erupt in the Middle East that may endanger their lives," the Defense Department said in a statement.

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