By Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral

PSG convoy ambushed amid offensive vs Maute

Posted on November 30, 2016

A CONVOY of members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), together with troops based in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, and government media was ambushed there on Tuesday morning, amid an ongoing military operation in Butig town, some 52 km south of the provincial capital to suppress the Maute terrorist group.

Military troops scour the site of a roadside blast in the village of Matampay in Marawi City on Nov. 29, after seven military bodyguards of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and two other soldiers were wounded in an ambush by suspected militants of the Maute group. (2nd photo) A composite sketch of the suspect in Monday’s foiled bombing outside the US Embassy which is also being linked to the Maute group. -- AFP/JMV Doctolero
The wounded were part of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s advance party for his visit in Marawi today, which is on schedule as Mr. Duterte himself said on Tuesday.

At 10:45 a.m. that day, a “suspected” improvised explosive device (IED) detonated when the convoy reached Brgy. Emie Punod, Marawi City, Senior Inspector Ronald de Leon, spokesperson of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said in a text message.

“Nine persons have been reported injured, consisting of seven PSG members and two regular troops escorting them. Most were slightly injured except for one PSG member who sustained serious injuries,” Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar for his part said in a text message to reporters, adding:

“A presidential chopper immediately airlifted the seriously injured and four others for emergency care. The rest were given first-aid treatment. Rest assured that all shall be given immediate medical attention.”

PSG Spokesperson Lt. Col. Michael T. Aquino in his text message said: “Troops [are] now taken to Cagayan for treatment; names can’t be released yet as they have to inform the family first.”

Mr. Aquino added that it’s not clear yet if the attack is “a result of [the] ongoing [military] operations in the area.”

In Manila, Philippine National Police Chief Director-General Ronald M. dela Rosa maintained that the bomb defused on Monday outside the US Embassy was the handiwork of the Maute group, whose suspected members were arrested last October in connection with the Sept. 2 bombing in Mr. Duterte’s home city of Davao that killed 15 people.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. dela Rosa held a news conference to show a composite image of the suspect in Monday’s foiled bombing, which described him as being of medium built, about five feet, about 44-45 years old, having a weight of 60-65 kg. and having fair complexion.