Australian TV journalist hit by bullet in Philippines city

Zia Alonto Adiong, a Philippine politician who spoke to civilians fleeing the city of Marawi, says that the witnesses reported seeing scores of dead bodies, at least 100, scattered around the roads in the area where the fighting is ongoing, raising concerns that the death toll in Marawi is likely much larger than officially reported.

He had an x-ray taken to get a better look, and when the medical staff showed him the image, Harvey asked with surprise, "Is there something in there?" "If we died outside our house, at least we tried to save ourselves", Andeleg said as he recounted watching bombs destroy houses around him.

The 24-day siege of the southern city has left 202 gunmen, 58 soldiers and policemen and 26 civilians dead.

Opposition lawmakers on Thursday pressed President Duterte to explain his "unusual" absence from public functions since Sunday, as speculations swirled about the state of his health.

Duterte imposed martial law over Marawi and the rest of the southern region of Mindanao, home to 20 million people, on the day the fighting erupted to head off what he said was an attempt by Daesh to carve out its own territory there. Their parents were taken into custody last week in separate cities.

Abella said Duterte was taking time off because of a punishing schedule since then, which included regular visits to military camps and hospitals to support troops.

Duterte had repeatedly denied during last year's presidential election campaign that he suffered from cancer. Only five percent of them were staying at 79 evacuation centers, while most went to live with realtives and friends. "(The) President's health is a national security issue", said Alejano.

An Australian journalist was hit by a bullet in his neck on Thursday while covering the Marawi crisis.

Adam Harvey of the Australian Broadcasting Corp said doctors recognized from his X-ray that the bullet was from an M16 assault rifle.

'Thanks everyone - I'm okay.

"The bullet is actually still in my neck", he said, "but luckily it missed everything important, and it just got lodged behind my jaw".

The journalist's sister, Claire Harvey, told 2GB radio her brother would need surgery, which she hoped would occur in Singapore.

"Holy [expletive]", said Harvey.

  • Leroy Wright