Marawi: Journalist Adam Harvey hit in neck by stray bullet

Tweet reads "Lucky" and picture shows an X ray image of a bullet lodged in a neck, between two vertebrae level with the jaw Image copyright @adharves
Image caption Adam Harvey thought he had been hit by shrapnel until he saw the bullet under X-ray

An Australian journalist was hit in the neck by a stray bullet while covering fighting in the Philippines.

Adam Harvey, who works for ABC, posted an X-ray image on Twitter of a bullet lodged in his neck. His injury is not life-threatening, an ABC director said.

The fighting began after militants declaring allegiance to so-called Islamic State (IS) took parts of Marawi on the island of Mindanao in May.

There are reports that hundreds of residents are still trapped.

A Filipino politician said on Thursday that those who have managed to leave have reported seeing many bodies of people who died in fighting between militants and the security forces.

Mr Harvey said he was bending down to get food and water out of a car - dressed in protective gear including a helmet and flack jacket - when he was hit by something that "felt like a cricket ball".

He had first aid from colleagues at the scene, thinking he had been hit by some shrapnel, but when he sought medical attention the X-ray image made it clear he had been hit by a bullet.

"Luckily it missed everything important and it was just got lodged behind my jaw," he said.

He did not lose consciousness and was advised to wear a neck brace "as a precaution".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Harvey said he was advised to wear a neck brace "as a precaution"

News of the journalist's condition came amid reports that residents fleeing Marawi had seen at least 100 bodies.

Politician Zia Alonto Adiong had earlier said they had seen 500-1,000 dead bodies, but corrected himself, saying this figure referred to the number of trapped residents.

"Dead bodies, at least 100, scattered around the encounter area," he told reporters.

Fighting began when the army tried and failed to capture a person believed to be the main IS leader in the Philippines. In response, local supporters of the militants attacked parts of the city, taking hostages, and President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on Mindanao.

According to the government, at least 26 civilians, 58 police or soldiers and 206 militants have been killed since the fighting began.

The militants claim they are holding two-thirds of the city but the military deny this, saying it is likely to be around 20%, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr Duterte missed a scheduled appearance at Independence Day celebrations on Monday, but a spokesman said he was "just taking some time off to rejuvenate" and there was "nothing to worry about in terms of sickness".

There was no indication of when he might return to public duties.

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