An air strike launched by the Philippines military missed its intended target in Marawi again and hit the army's own soldiers killing two of them and leaving 11 others injured. This has forced the military to suspend air strikes carried out by all the FA-50 fighter jets in the southern parts of the country against Isis-linked terrorists.
The air strike hit the troops on Wednesday, 12 July when the Filipino forces were pounding the positions of the Isis-linked Maute group. It is part of the ongoing conflict in the region after President Rodrigo Duterte clamped martial law to flush out extremists from Mindanao.
"We are saddened by this unfortunate incident. We are attending to the needs of the families of our troops who died or were hurt," Joint Task Force Marawi spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera said in a statement. "Cognizant units from the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] have formed a group that is now conducting initial investigations to determine the cause of the mishap and prevent the chances of it re-occurring."
Local reports said the air strike missed the target by 250kms and instead hit a building causing it to collapse. The debris from the damaged building fell on the military personnel.
This is the second time when a misdirected air strike by the military has killed their own men. The first incident happened on 1 June killing 11 soldiers.
However, notwithstanding the latest attack, the military has said it is determined to carry out more airstrikes against militants.
"The FA-50 will momentarily be pulled out from deployment until the investigation is finished and once we ascertain the reason why the bombs went off target," AFP spokesperson Restituto Padilla said in a news conference.