2 soldiers dead, 11 injured as air strike misses target in Marawi


Posted at Jul 12 2017 08:18 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2017 09:07 PM

(UPDATE) Two soldiers were killed while 11 others were wounded after an air strike failed to hit its target in Marawi City around noon Wednesday.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office, said the air strike was 250 meters short of its target. The bomb drop was part of continuing state offensives to flush out remaining Islamic State-linked terrorists in the long-drawn conflict. 

"The impact of the explosion caused the collapse of nearby structures. Large debris from heavily reinforced buildings accidentally hit two of our personnel who succumbed to death in the process," Arevalo said in a statement. 

Eleven other soldiers sustained "minor shrapnel wounds." All are able to walk and are in recovery, he said.

"We are saddened by this unfortunate incident. We are attending to the needs of the families of our troops who died or were hurt," he said.

Arevalo said the military has launched an investigation into the incident, the second time an air strike killed the AFP's own. 

Eleven soldiers were killed on June 1 after the military accidentally hit its own men in another botched airstrike. 

Arevalo said the military will continue to conduct surgical air strikes despite the incident.

"We are going to continue our air strikes because those are meant to dislodge the terrorists that are concentrated in the area," Arevalo told ANC.

"As a matter of policy, we are going to ground the aircraft that figured in this mishap," he added.

The military has yet to disclose the type of aircraft involved in the incident.

Firefights in Marawi is into its second month, with at least more than 500 killed and more than 300,000 driven out of the city and nearby towns. 

--Report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News