Relief goods needed as aerial bombing continues in Lanao del Sur town

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Nearby towns and cities are also helping out displaced residents of Butig.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The need for humanitarian aid had risen for displaced residents of Butig, Lanao del Sur as air strikes against a new rebel group continued on Wednesday (February 24).

Town mayor Ibrahim Macadato said thousands of evacuees were housed in five locations as more than half of them had already received relief goods from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD). The rest of the evacuees were subject for verification.

Related: Thousands displaced by ongoing firefight in Lanao del Sur

The firefight between government forces and so-called Maute Group had been raging since it broke out last Saturday that even the municipal hall had been badly damaged and the mayor's office had to be relocated.

Macadato said the armed group were not allied with the international terrorist group ISIS but were mere armed residents.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had also denied any involvement in the clashes.

Related: MILF's Bravo denies hand in ambush which killed soldier

Meanwhile, a group of women residents said they refused to leave Butig even with planes and choppers had been flying over their heads because they had nowhere to go.

Iligan City-based Ayeesha Dicali contributed to this report.