At least seven members of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s security team were injured in a roadside bombing by suspected Muslim militants. The attack comes ahead of Duterte’s visit to an area of intense battles between Islamists and government troops.

 

Soldiers carry on a stretcher a wounded member of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's presidential security group

 

An explosive device planted along the road detonated when the presidential convoy headed to Marawi, the capital of Lanao del Sur province on the island of Mindanao, the second-largest island of the Philippines.

 

The convoy reportedly included seven members of the Presidential Security Group, two soldiers and Duterte’s media team, according to media reports.

 

“The truck carrying the president’s advance security detail was hit by an improvised explosive device,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, as cited by Reuters. “There was no firefight.”

 

The injured men were immediately airlifted to safety. Members of the president’s official media team were also in the convoy, but were unharmed.

 

Lorenzana said that he advised Duterte to cancel his visit to Marawi, scheduled for Wednesday, as the situation is “still not under control.”

 

The president chose to ignore the advice.