normality in Maguindanao.

MANILA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. and British governments are "closely" and "carefully" monitoring the situation in Maguindanao after the government declared martial law in the province to allegedly quell a rebellion by a powerful political clan.

In separate statements issued Monday, both countries also urged Philippine security forces to respect human rights even if while martial law is in place.

"Declaration of martial law is a serious step with human rights implications so we will watch its implementation carefully," the U.S. embassy in Manila said in a statement.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Lillie said the U.K. government looks forward to the return of

"The world is still watching and waiting to see whether justice is done. We will continue to closely monitor the situation," Lillie said.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo put Maguindanao province under martial law late Friday to quash a so-called rebellion being mounted by the Ampatuan clan. Members of the powerful family are the main suspects behind the Nov. 23 slaying of 57 people, mostly women and journalists.

The United Nations, led by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has led the worldwide condemnation of the brutal killings. Several governments, including the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, and the European Union have demanded swift prosecution of the killers and early resolution of the case.

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