Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

Friendly fire kills ten as Duterte's troops clash with Islamists

Friendly fire kills ten as Duterte's troops clash with Islamists

Manila: An air strike during Philippine military operations to drive Islamist rebels out of a southern city has killed ten government troops, the defence minister said on Thursday, in a major blow to efforts to defeat fighters linked to the ISIS. "The first plane dropped the ordnance accurately, the second went wrong and hit our troops", Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained at a press conference Thursday. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. And there were stories - stories of things that mothers and fathers hope never happen to their families.

Lorenzana said militants who were Saudi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Yemeni and Chechen were among eight foreigners killed fighting with the Maute rebels.

Materials recovered by the Philippine authorities in Marawi City revealed that the attack of the pro-Islamic State (IS) Maute group had been planned even before the government's operation to arrest Abu Sayyaf senior leader Isnilon Hapilon.

Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert at Singapore's S. Rarajatnam School of International Studies, believes that IS and the smaller regional groups are working together to show their strength and declare a Philippine province part of the caliphate that IS says it created in the Middle East. Shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte took power a year ago, he questioned the country's decision to buy more technically advanced FA-50 supersonic fighter jets from South Korea.

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President Rodrigo Duterte announced a 60-day period of martial law over all of Mindanao last week in response to the ISIS attack, urging residents to evacuate.

The Marchetti S-211 jet, which was on a bombing run over militant positions in Marawi on Wednesday, hit a location where its army troops were locked in a close-range combat with the extremists, military spokesman Brig.

Up to 120 terrorists, 25 soldiers, and 19 civilians were killed, according to a military report.

Since the weekend, the armed forces used a combination of ground troops and rocket strikes from helicopters in an attempt to flush rebels out of buildings.

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But the government's narrative of being in "full control" of Marawi took a hit Thursday when defence chiefs said 11 soldiers were killed in a misguided bombing mission.

The "friendly fire" as they call it brings the death toll to 171 the number of people reported killed since gunmen waving black flags of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group began rampaging through the Muslim city of Marawi last week.

"We appeal... on humanitarian reasons and because this is what our religion Islam tells us", Jaafar said in an interview on ABS-CBN News.

The Philippines Justice Department has issued warrants for more than 100 members of the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization, both of which are believed to be involved in the fighting in Marawi.

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"When you're desperate, you will do everything to survive", said Zia Alonto Adiong, a regional lawmaker who welcomed dozens of people, including children, who fled to safety after more than a week trapped inside Marawi. "I know that he feels very badly and he feels sad about this incident", he said.

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