Tahlka News Bureau
MARAWI: Eleven government troops were killed along with seven others were injured after what the Philippine government said as a "friendly fire incident" in Marawai, on the southern island on Mindanao.
Government forces are battling ISIS-linked militants for control of the city at least 70,000 residents and leaving 140 people dead.
Yesterday, two military jets were conducting strikes against the members of the Maut group, which has pleaded allegiance to ISIS, when one struck members of the 55th Infantry Battalion.
"The first plane dropped the ordnance accurately, but the second one missed. iT hit our troops... there must be some mistake there," siad Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
The incident came during what was the first ofensie deployment of fixed-wing aircraft in the nine-day operation, aimed at flushing out the Isamist gunmen.
Martial law has been declared in the entire island of Mindanao, where fighting is ongoing. The government is in near completecontrol of Marawi, but rooting out the last pocket od resistance seems to be taking langer than expected.
"Recalcitrant remnants of the Maute-ISIS to heed the call of government to give up their arms and continued their resistance while holed in fortified building and structure". the Philipine army official said.
Till now, more than 100 militants have been killed since the fighting broke out on May 23. As of Wednesday, 19 civilians and 21 forces had diedl, according to state media.
The Philpine Justice department have issued more than 100 warrants against members of the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf organisation, both which are believed to be involved in the fighting in Marawi.
Militants entered the city after a failed government operation to arrest Haplion, an Abu Sayyaf leader who has succeeded in uniting several small Islamist groups in the region under the ISIS banner, some of the fighter are boys as young as 16 to 14 years old. Refugees have spoken of seeing child soldiers, and previous ISIS propaganda about the region showing children and young soldiers wearing black bandanas and taking part in training exercise.