Malaysia in Borneo standoff with armed intruders


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysian security forces have surrounded armed intruders on Borneo who are believed to be from the southern Philippines, police said Thursday.

The intruders have been ordered to surrender their weapons, national police chief Ismail Omar said, adding that “the situation is under control and the public need not worry.”

Ismail’s statement late Wednesday did not disclose the number of suspects or how they were armed. Malaysia’s national news agency, Bernama, cited unidentified police sources as saying that the intruders comprised more than 100 foreigners wearing military fatigues.

Malaysia’s Sabah state is less than an hour by speedboat from Mindanao, which has long been wracked by a Muslim separatist insurgency.

Ismail said the group landed in Sabah’s largely rural, coastal district of Lahad Datu on Tuesday following “troubles in the southern Philippines.”

Other police representatives in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah on Thursday confirmed the intrusion but said they could not elaborate beyond Ismail’s statement.

Security on Malaysia’s sea border with the Philippines has been problematic for Sabah, where tens of thousands of Filipino have tried to immigrate over the past few decades.

In 2000, gunmen from Mindanao slipped twice into Sabah and abducted people for ransom, including tourists from a diving resort.

One of the most recent kidnappings involved two Malaysians snatched from a plantation in Lahad Datu in November. They were believed to have been taken to Mindanao.

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  • Jon

    We support the claims of our brothers and sisters in Sabah, the government has to fix this unfinished business with malaysia. SABAH is part of our constitution, regardless of how many problems PH is facing now, that is just because we are simply in the right side of every argument/issue. If Malaysia pushes this issue to UN, PH will still win.

    Now it is our people pursuing this claim because we have such a crappy government. I hope that our Filipino tausugs in Sabah right now are safe and we hope that God is with them.

    Lets just say “I stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone” is what is happening right now in Sabah. This is will be a very big issue in case something bloody will happen and the PH government will not help. The entire muslim community in mindanao is observing this issue closely. I hope the manilans that are one of the most liberated people in the Philippines can look up to their ancestors/brothers and sisters, kababayan as well. This is the right time to pursue our claim to Sabah, MALAYSIA IS JUST A SQUATTER IN SABAH. BS.

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