Ambush in Marawi City? Residents have doubts

Military reports showed that the incident happened before 11 am on Tuesday.

A convoy of the Presidential Security Group and Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM), along with local troop escorts, were on their way to Marawi when an IED exploded along their path, the military said. The government troops were then fired upon by "armed suspects," the military said.

The 7 members of the PSG who were wounded were identified by the police as the following: Captain Zamora, Staff Sergeant Damaso, Corporal Inova, Corporal De Leon, Seargeant Garcia, Private First Class Gonzalez and Private First Class Panisa. Two other Army soldiers were also hurt.

A staff of the government RTVM channel, who was part of the convoy, attested to the ambush. He said they were forced to go the other way when they heard the blast. The military said the soldiers were immediately brought to the 103rd brigade headquarters then airlifted to a Cagayan de Oro hospital to be treated.

Colonel Rosseler Murillo, brigade commander, lamented how the residents were doubting the incident. "Alam natin na totoo ang ginagawa natin kasi ang hirap isakripisyo ang buhay ng sundalo para sa ganoong scenario lang," Murillo said. (We know that it is true. It is difficult to sacrifice the lives of soldiers for a scenario like that.)

One of the soldiers was seriously injured. 

"They are very active sa mga ganoon kasi (in propaganda because) they are losing this battle," said Murillo, citing what he said is the close relationship among families in the area. 

"Wala namang ibang fact e (There is no other fact). It was an ambush deliberately planned kung sino ang dadaan doon na (for whoever was passing there that was a) marked vehicle of the military," said Murillo.

The military launched an offensive against the Maute group that pledged allegiance to the foreign terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) that has sought to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. 

In Butig town, a few hours' drive away from Marawi City, the Maute group occupied the abandoned town hall and raised the black flag of the ISIS.

On Wednesday, the same day that Duterte visited the army camp in Lanao del Sur, the military said it had driven the group out of the town hall. –