MANILA – Authorities closed off a portion of the Mindanao State University compound in Marawi City following the death of a government employee due to a stray bullet, the military said on Friday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr. said the MSU gate where the incident occurred on Thursday was closed with traffic rerouted to safer areas.
An employee of the Civil Service Commission died while his companion was hurt after they were hit by a stray bullet from a caliber .50 while inside the MSU compound. Early this week, a woman was also hit in the leg by a stray bullet inside her home in the MSU compound.
Padilla said the local crisis management committee in Marawi also suspended classes in a private school near the area, but classes in MSU will continue.
“No classes will be held in that private school near the gate in view of this development, until such time that we can guarantee or ensure that no incident of this nature will happen again,” he said.
“However, classes and normalcy still remain inside the Mindanao State University…and will continue because they are well-secured in that area.”
The AFP said it was possible the stray bullets came from "sympathizers" of the Maute group.
"It cannot be farfetched that there may be some elements who are sympathetic [to] the group, who have arms with them, who may have made it close to these areas and may have attempted to shoot at vehicles or innocent persons who are in the area," Padilla said.