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7 PSG men, 2 others hurt in Marawi ambush

On the eve of President Duterte’s visit to Lanao del Sur, seven members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were injured after a powerful explosion rocked its passing convoy in Marawi City.

Two more soldiers accompanying the President’s security team were also hurt during the roadside explosion.

PSG spokesman Michael Aquino said an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated when the convoy of the PSG, Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM) and soldiers were passing by Sitio Matalupay, Marawi at past 10 a.m. Tuesday. The group was part of the advanced team preparing for the President’s visit to Lanao.

Aquino said the injured troops were immediately brought to Cagayan de Oro for treatment. One of the PSG members sustained serious injuries.

Aquino declined to give the names of the blast victims until their families have been informed by the incident.

He said authorities have started to investigate the incident to identify the type of explosives and unmask the perpetrators of the attack. He could not say if the attack was targeting the President or a result of the ongoing operations in the area.

There is no official word yet if the President will cancel his visit to Lanao on Wednesday following the roadside attack.

Aquino assured that the PSG members are well trained and prepared to ensure the safety and protection of the President.

“Tight talaga ang security natin kahit saan tayo magpunta. Hindi naman tayo nagpapabaya, talagang alert tayo,” said Aquino.

Meanwhile, Presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte condemned the attack and said it was clearly intended to send a message to President Duterte.

“The message of the attack was clear and it targeted my father and his administration. It was meant to terrorize the government and the Filipino people,” he said. (With a report from Yas D. Ocampo) (GENALYN D. KABILING)