DAVAO CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it will investigate the “friendly” fire that killed 11 soldiers and wounded 10 others amid the continued military operations against the ISIS-linked Maute group and Abu Sayyaf in Marawi City.
Brig. General Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson told reporters in a press conference on Thursday that the probe was ordered by AFP chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año.
The investigation, he added, is aimed to prevent a similar incident that is proven fatal to government troopers.
The incident took place on Wednesday when a Marchetti S-211 jet was on a bombing operation in Marawi, he said.
The probe will focus on whether there was a pilot error, operational or mechanical in nature.
The AFP, as of press time, still concealed the names of soldiers killed and wounded in the incident until their families are fully informed.
The so-called “friendly” was also confirmed by Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana who expressed support to the move of the AFP to investigate the incident.
He told reporters that it was the second bomb dropped by Marchetti S-211 jet that hit the soldiers on the ground.
The government’s all-out military offensive against the Maute and its allies is now on its ninth day as the month of June starts.
The government said 21 soldiers were already killed in days of action while 72 others were wounded while 89 members of Abu Sayyaf and Maute were also killed.
Twenty-two civilians were also killed during the fighting, it added.
The government’s latest count added that 43,733 families or 218,665 individuals already moved out of Marawi and are now staying either in evacuation centers or with their relatives in nearby towns, cities, and provinces.
A total of 59 persons are still reportedly missing, 3,023 are still stranded and 2,372 were already rescued from the war-torn streets and villages in the city. (davaotoday.com)