ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Seventeen people, including soldiers and two children, escaped unscathed in two ambushes in this southern port city, a police official said Monday.

Chief Inspector Domingo Arguilla, commander of the Police Station 1, said the ambush took place one after the other in the village of Tagasilay, 61 kilometers east of this city, while both vehicles were en route to the city proper.

Arguilla said the passenger bus of Rural Transit Management Inc. (RTMI) with body number 9306 was ambushed around 11:40 p.m. Sunday.

The bus, which came from Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur province, was carrying 11 passengers when fired upon by the suspects.

Arguilla said a Toyota Hilux driven by Army First Lieutenant Basser Utto was also ambushed by the same group of armed men few minutes later in the same place.

Utto, who was accompanied by his wife, two children and two security escorts, came from Cotabato City and was en route to the city proper. (Bong Garcia)