MANILA (UPDATE 2) - A foreign journalist covering the crisis in Marawi City was "hit by a sniper bullet" while inside the compound of the Lanao del Sur provincial capitol on Thursday.
The journalist, identified as Adam Harvey of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was wounded in the neck. Harvey is the first journalist hurt in the nearly one-month Marawi siege.
A colleague said Harvey was photographing children playing in the compound when they heard several gunshots.
Before the incident, Harvey had removed his bullet-proof vest so he could squat and take better photos.
The capitol, supposedly located far from the conflict areas, is considered the safest place in the city, where government agencies converge and journalists are stationed.
Harvey was immediately given first aid treatment in the capitol.
"I just felt like something, like a stone, hit me on this side of the neck... But I'm fine, I'm fine," he told reporters after undergoing first aid treatment.
Dr. Gamal Mamacotao, a medical officer at the provincial capitol, said they found a "superficial wound" on the left part of Harvey's neck.
"There is a superficial wound sa left neck area niya. Wala namang nakuha, nilagyan lang ng betadine... May grazing wound sa left neck area niya" he said.
A few hours later, x-ray results revealed a bullet stuck inside the neck of the journalist.
He posted the photo of x-ray results on Twitter, saying "Lucky."
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, asked journalists in Marawi to "stay out of trouble" and to be objective in their reports.
"I think they should be as objective as possible and see it in the context that this is basically an action of rebellion. Stay out of trouble," he said.
Authorities in Marawi have yet to say where the bullet came from.
Regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera said the capitol is still within the line of sight of the terrorists, the reason why some of the bullets are reaching the area.
"The direction of bullets -- if you will see the map -- the direction of the bullets coming from the enemy is towards the vicinity of the capitol and the 103rd Brigade," he said after being asked if it was possible that a sniper bullet hit the reporter.
He also asked journalists, government employees, and civilian volunteers working at the capitol to be careful even if the area is already controlled by the military.--with a report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News