Monday, 10 December, 2018

Philippine airstrike kills 11 soldiers in 'friendly fire'

Melinda Barton | 03 June, 2017, 01:46

The strike that killed the Philippine soldiers was one of two launched during that particular operation. Two bombs were intended for Daesh positions, "but the second one missed ... there must be some mistake there", Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained, according to CNN Philippines.

A week-long assault by Islamist rebels in the southern Philippine city is being fuelled by stolen weapons and ammunition, and fighters who have broken out of jails, the military said yesterday, as troops battled militants resisting ground and air attacks.

"This is a case of friendly fire".

"Once the dust settles, the people of Marawi might not have homes anymore to go back to", he added.

The military said that the terrorists include foreign fighters and local gunmen who want to establish a regional branch of ISIS. Indonesians, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Saudis, Chechens, Yemenis, Indians, Moroccans, and Turks have been identified among the militants trying to secure control of the city.

"We do not know [how they entered the country] because we don't have any record of them coming through the proper channel, through the airports", Mr. Lorenzana said.

"What's happening in Mindanao is no longer a rebellion of Filipino citizens". The AFP says that eight terrorists affiliated with Maute have voluntarily surrendered and urged others to do the same or face certain death.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is concerned radical ideology is spreading in the southern Philippines and it could become a haven for militants from Southeast Asia and beyond.

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. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.

The priest said the Islamic State-backed Maute militant group, which took Marawi last week, "don't ask for anything. they just ask that you leave this place peacefully", he said under duress.

CNN Philippines reported Thursday that 100 militants had been killed since the fighting broke out on May 23.

Philippine Marines aboard a truck drive past, as smoke billows after rockets were fired at militant positions in Marawi. "And if it means many people dying, so be it", Duterte said at a news conference last week, after returning from an abbreviated diplomatic visit to Russian Federation. If you fight us, you will die.

"They are trapped, they are contained", he said.

The police in northern Mindanao has released photos of foreign and local terrorists, including members of the Maute group, amid the terror crisis in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Soldiers are fighting street by street in the southern city of Marawi with the Muslim-extremist Maute group, which raised the black Islamic State flag there more than a week ago after authorities attempted and failed to arrest the leader of an allied faction. Philippines officials said he was likely still in the city, pointing to the ferocity of ongoing resistance from the Maute fighters.