Seven members of the Philippine Presidential Security Group (PSG) and two soldiers were injured in an ambush Tuesday morning in Marawi City which is due to be visited by President Duterte on Wednesday.
Armed Forces public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said the PSG men were on a convoy of military trucks with local troop escorts when they were hit by the improvised explosive device (IED) explosion at around 10:45 am in Barangay Matampay.
PSG spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Aquino said it was still too early to say if the attack specifically targeted the president, or was a result of ongoing security-related operations in the area including the campaign against the Maute group.
Duterte announced Monday that he would be going to Marawi to meet with the troops amidst the ongoing campaign of the government against the Maute group that occupied parts of Butig town in Lanao del Sur over the weekend. He was set to visit Marawi City on Nov. 30.
Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Maute Group may have mistaken the PSG personnel as government reinforcements in the ongoing military operations against the Maute group.
“We do not have reasons to believe that they (PSG personnel) were the targets. Its just that they were onboard a military vehicle and probably the perpetrators, whoever they were, took advantage” he said.