2 soldiers killed, 11 others wounded in 'friendly fire'

China, India vow to support Philippines' recovery from Marawi battle

A Philippine military jet accidentally killed two soldiers and injured 11 others as troops fought to retake a southern city from pro-Islamic State group militants, the military said Thursday.

The military has also seized 497 firearms from the Islamic State-linked Maute fighters.

Joint Task Force Marawi Spokesman Jo-ar Herrera said the remains, all wearing orange dresses, were discovered by the 51st Infantry Battalion around 9:47 a.m., Wednesday, July 12.

China earlier pledged Dollars 300 thousand as an initial assistance to rehabilitate the City of Marawi and as a relief assistance aside from the 3,000 rifles that were given to Philippine troops to battle terror in the on-going armed conflict in Marawi City.

Padilla said the aircraft had a "very high success rate" in nearly 70 missions. It hit a building and led to its collapse, causing large debris to fall on the soldiers who were inside the structure.

Padilla said despite the unfortunate incident, the aircraft used in the airstrike has had a very high success rate.

Meanwhile, 11 others sustained minor shrapnel wounds.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the incident only reflected the "harsh nature of urban warfare" in Marawi City.

"As I have continuously been mentioning the basis of the recommendation or the assessment, I would say will be the operational objectives that were given to us so we have to accomplish those objectives", Padilla told reporters.

The military earlier said civilians had been forced to help the gunmen by carrying supplies and ammunition, bearing their wounded and even helping them loot the city.

"They were allegedly wearing orange garb suits, and if that is any indication, they were civilians that were killed earlier during the start of the fighting [and] executed by these terrorists", Brigadier General Restituto Padilla was quoted as saying by GMA Network.

The IS-backed Maute militants in Marawi, who attacked and captured parts of the city at the end of May, have carried out vast atrocities. About 260,000 residents have been forced to flee from the city.

Some local reports have said that as many as 2,000 civilians may have been killed so far, though army officials have said that such numbers stem from "unverified reports". They also have over 600 buildings to clear.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that his forces needed 15 more days to defeat the terrorists.


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