MARAWI CITY - Suspected Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members joined a "retaliatory attack" by Maute terrorists in Lumbatan, Lanao del Sur early Saturday morning, according to reliable sources of ABS CBN News.
Sources said the attack occurred in a detachment of the Army's Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU). The firefight lasted for about two hours. There were no casualties reported but the base was riddled with bullets.
The military earlier warned of possible retaliatory attacks and diversionary tactics by the Maute group saying the terrorists were planning to avenge their comrades killed in Marawi.
The military said around 573 terrorists have so far been killed in the fighting in Marawi, which has stretched to over three months already.
Col. Romeo Brawner, Deputy of Task Group Ranao said despite their losses, the Maute group has been trying to expand into other areas.
"There are attempts to recruit more fighters," Brawner said.
Fighting continues in Marawi where the military again launched limited air strikes Sunday. But Joint Task Force Marawi said that in the last few days they noted that the Mautes don't seem to be fighting as hard before.
"Ang napapansin ng ground forces tipid na sila sa pakikipagpalitan ng putok konti na lang logistical supplies and ammunition nila," said Capt Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Joint Task Force Marawi.
The military has called on the remaining members of the terrorist group to surrender.
"Araw araw naman nanawagan tayo na magsurrender na lang at para matapos na itong Marawi siege so we can bring back normalcy," Brawner said.