AFP: Gov't can't end airstrikes in Marawi

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) — The military will resort to airstrikes to defeat the terrorists in Marawi City despite a failed hit that killed soldiers, an official said Wednesday.

"Our troops clearly need to judiciously use force because of a stiffer kind of resistance from the inner enclaves of the city," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesman BGen. Restituto Padilla told reporters during a regular press briefing in Malacañang.

He appealed to the residents of Marawi for understanding.

"We feel the pain, we feel the hurt of every member or every citizen or every resident of Marawi. But let us remember that we did not start this... It was the armed group, the Maute Daesh/ISIS-inspired group, that entered your city and wreaked havoc on it," Padilla said.

A multi-sectoral group based in Lanao del Sur called on President Rodrigo Duterte to order the military to stop aerial bombings which have destroyed houses in Marawi.

Padilla earlier told CNN Philippines' The Source the government needs to use "appropriate precision airstrikes" to protect its troops and civilians from sniper fire.

The military reported a civilian was close to being rescued on June 3 but was killed by a sniper.

On May 31, a government airstrike mistakenly killed 10 soldiers and wounded seven other troops in Marawi. The military is investigating what it called "friendly fire."

Read: 10 soldiers killed in botched government airstrike: military, defense officials

As of Wednesday, 134 terrorists, 39 government troops and 20 civilians were killed in clashes in Marawi, the military said. A total of 1, 545 civilians were rescued.

Over 227,000 individuals were displaced, government officials said.

Clashes between government forces and the Maute terror group prompted Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao on May 23. The Maute is seeking ISIS recognition.

Also read: Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

'Do not share propaganda videos'

Meanwhile, the military is appealing to social media users to stop sharing videos aimed at sowing religious hatred and spreading terrorist propaganda.

A video released by the ISIS' Amaq News Agency showing supposed ISIS members destroying a church in Marawi. Videos still available online as of Wednesday show armed men trampling statutes of Catholic saints, smashing the crucifix, and tearing and burning photos of Pope Francis.

"We have requested that this be pulled out because it may fan hatred (among Muslims and Catholics)," Padilla said.

Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña on Monday cried foul over the rampage in St. Mary's Cathedral, which he called "blasphemy."

Padilla said the terrorists want to turn the conflict into a "religious war."

"Let us not buy in into the plan of this terror groups to inflame the feelings of our other religions. This is not a religious war. This is a terror attack on the city of Marawi," he said.

Padilla said civilians should help the military end the crisis by remaining vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity.

CNN Philippines' Correspondents Ina Andolong, David Santos, and Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.