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Military eyes limited bombings

The military is considering “limiting” or “suspending” air strikes in Marawi City following the death of 11 soldiers in a botched bombing run, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.

The possible change in military strategy aims to prevent a repeat of the mistake of hitting government troops battling extremists in the area, according to Lorenzana.

“It will be the call of the ground commander if they needed the strikes pero medyo limitahan muna natin ‘yung strike to the aircraft that can deliver accurately,” said Lorenzana, also the Martial Law administrator in Mindanao.

“We are pouring more troops there that’s why I said a while ago baka we might suspend for a while the air strikes and let the ground troops do their thing,” he said in a Palace press conference.

Lorenzana said it was “unfortunate” that 11 soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in a friendly fire air strike in Marawi. The two trainer jets launched the bomb raid last Wednesday but the second one missed its target and hit several soldiers, he said.

“There were two planes flying and the first plane dropped the – their ordnance accurately pero ‘yung pangalawa sumablay, tumama doon sa tropa natin,” Lorenzana said. “There must be some mistake there – either the people directing the bomb run on the ground or the pilot on the air,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)