ZAMBOANGA CITY — Eight fighters, including five Maute group members and three soldiers, were killed while 52 others were wounded as fighting continues in Marawi City, a military official said Friday.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, did not disclose the specific location of the latest firefight except to say it happened on Thursday afternoon in the “main battle area” of Marawi City.
Petinglay said the troops were advancing when the firefight broke out against the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired Maute group members.
Petinglay said the firefight resulted to the death of five Maute group members.
She said the troops accidentally tripped on improvised explosive device (IED) killing three soldiers at the height of the firefight.
She revealed that 52 others were injured as they too accidentally tripped on IEDs while coming to the aid of their wounded companions.
“It is a natural reaction for soldiers to come to the rescue of their wounded companions but they also ended up injured as they tripped on IEDs,” she said.
“There were several IEDs placed by the enemy forces (in the main battle area),” she added.
She said the number of slain government troops have increased to 136 with the death of the three soldiers on Thursday afternoon.
The fatalities on the Maute group have increased to 608 with the death of the five of their followers.
Thursday’s firefight came three days after a marine soldier was killed in an IED explosion in Marawi City.
Rear Adm. Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) command chief, disclosed that PFC Robert Bismar tripped on an IED while his squad maneuvered from one building to another to establish a defensive position.
Medina said Bismar was rushed but failed to reach alive at the medical station in Barangay Lilod Madaya, Marawi City.
The NFWM rendered full military honors to the late Bismar, whose remains were brought to his family’s residence on Thursday in Barangay Upper Calarian, this city. TPGJR/PNA