Manila: The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) splinter group under Nur Misuari is now helping government forces in its operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

Brigadier General Ruben Rafael, the military official in charge of government forces in the southern Philippines' island of Sulu, said that Misuari's followers are now taking an active part in the military offensive against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

"The MNLF [Misuari faction] is now helping the government in its operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu," Rafael Task Force Comet chief said in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.

The MNLF signed a peace agreement with the government in 1996 when Misuari was still chief of the organisation and chairman of the Moro self-rule region.

However, in 2000, Misuari had a dispute with the government of President Gloria Arroyo which led to a revolt in Sulu led by his followers.

Misuari, who had been credited for starting the MNLF, sought refuge in Malaysia but was surrendered by the then government under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad to Philippine authorities.

Since then Misuari had been imprisoned at a government detention facility south of Manila.