An air strike ordered by the Philippines government killed ten of its soldiers on Wednesday in the city of Marawi, where the military has been battling fighters affiliated to the Islamic States group for the past week. At least eight other soldiers were injured in the strike, BBC reported.
Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said two SF-260 plans had dropped bombs on Islamic State targets in the city centre, and that it was “very sad” that they had hit some of their own troops in the process. “”There must be a mistake somewhere, either someone directing from the ground, or the pilot,” Lorenzana said, according to Al Jazeera.
The Philippines government has been using its airforce as well as troops on the ground to drive the militants, who belong to a local unit called Maute, out of the city, with many holed up in buildings, Reuters reported.
The Maute militants, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group last year, burned down buildings and churches as they entered the city in May. More than 70,000 people have fled the city, which had a population of around 2 lakh. A total of 38 soldiers, 19 civilians and 120 members of the militant group have been killed in the conflict so far, the Al Jazeera reported.