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.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94