• Military suspends use of aircraft in second ‘friendly fire’ incident

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    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that the aircraft used during the friendly fire incident that resulted in the death of two soldiers in Marawi City would be grounded until after an investigation into the incident.

    Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the AFP spokesman, said all FA50, the kind of aircraft that dropped four bombs in the area where the soldiers were, would not be used in the ongoing clearing operations of the remaining Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists in Marawi City.

    “[The] FA50 will be pulled out until further investigation has been finished,” he told reporters. He added, however, that before the “friendly fire” incident, the aircraft unit obtained a “high successful” rate.

    Padilla said suspension of the aircraft would not lead to the grounding of other aircraft units, Padilla added.

    At 12 noon on Wednesday, an FA50 plane dropped bombs but missed its target that was 250 meters away and hit a building that collapsed, causing large debris to fall on the soldiers who were inside the structure.

    It also wounded 11 soldiers who were now recovering in a hospital, said Padilla.

    Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP public affairs, said that an investigating team would investigate the incident, the second after one in May resulted in the deaths of 10 soldiers.

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