Philippine military mistakenly kills own soldiers

A marine battalion left an air force base in Manila on deployment to the southern city of Marawi where ongoing violence has kill.

"Since the Philippine government announced martial law, there have been relentless air strikes, 'surgical air strikes, ' as the Philippine military described it", Al Jazeera reported from the outskirts of Marawi City.

The government has beefed up its military presence in the southern Philippines in an effort to recover Marawi, a city partly controlled by terrorists linked to Islamic State, in time for a self-imposed Friday deadline.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the airstrikes on Wednesday injured seven other soldiers.

The bombing accident happened on Wednesday when one of two planes bombing rebel positions missed its target in the heart of Marawi City, where ground troops have been battling pro-Islamic State militants holed-up in buildings for nine days.

He said the AFP Board of Inquiry has been tasked to investigate the incident, even as the military continued to extend support to the families of the slain soldiers and help personnel involved in the bungled air strike deal with the unfortunate incident through debriefing and counseling. Lorenzana said Thursday eight of the militants killed were foreigners, including Chechen and Arab fighters.

Lorenzana said that the military might halt air strikes as the rebels are not strong enough to hold out for long.

The Philippines military has since been using armed forces and helicopter airstrikes to try and drive the militants out.

At least 25 soldiers and five policemen also have been killed in clashes.

"10 killed and 8 wounded", Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement to the media, as cited by Reuters. "The coordination was not properly done so we hit our own people". "But we will add appropriate measures to ensure that such an incident is avoided", Padilla said.

Amid the concerns about the rising threat of ISIS, Lorenzana said militants from Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Yemen, Malaysia and Indonesia were among the dead.

The defense chief also insisted that 10 soldiers were killed and that this figure is "correct". "I'm sure the troops will do they best they can to accomplish the deadline", he said.

"We are extremely anxious about the residents who've not been able to leave their homes because of the fighting and those people who are reportedly being held against their will", ICRC said in a written statement issued here on Thursday.

Duterte, who declared martial law in Mindanao, has approved the creation of a "peace corridor" to hasten the rescue of civilians and delivery of humanitarian aid for displaced persons, said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

The Maute militants, who pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015, engaged in a violent encounter with the military and police on May 23 after a failed raid which aimed to capture local Islamist leader Isnilon Hapilon.

  • Zachary Reyes