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14 dead in Sabah assault

‘A massacre,’ Sulu sultan cries, ‘fight not yet over’

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A standoff in Sabah erupted in violence on Friday morning, with 12 followers of the sultan of Sulu and two police officers killed as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak declared his patience had run out.

Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib told reporters that 12 members of the group, which was led by a brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, were killed in the clash that began at about 10 a.m. and lasted for 30 minutes.

A spokesperson for the sultan of Sulu, Abraham Idjirani, denounced the raid on Agbimuddin’s group as a “massacre.”

BLOODY FRIDAY A truck at the village of Tanduao in Lahad Datu carries the bodies of two members of Malaysia’s police commando. The two were among the casualties in Friday’s clash between Malaysian forces and armed members of the sultanate of Sulu, who had camped out at Lahad Datu since Feb. 9 to press their claim to Sabah. MALAYSIA’S THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Idjirani said the standoff was not over and that Agbimuddin’s group was still there and fearing more attacks by the Malaysian forces.

“No, the standoff is not over, unless there’s a concrete understanding or agreement that can be reached by the three parties,” Idjirani said, referring to the sultanate of Sulu and the Philippine and Malaysian governments.

No one surrendered

Speaking to reporters, Hamza said no one had surrendered. He said Agbimuddin’s group remained holed up in the village and that the security operation was going on.

“We will assess the situation again. We want them to surrender peacefully. If they still insist, we have no choice, but there is no time frame,” he said.

Idjirani was speaking at the time when reports from Malaysia were saying 10 members of Agbimuddin’s group, including a woman, had been killed.

“The first shot was fired by the Malaysian commando forces. The fallen heroes . . . are 10,” Idjirani said.

He said the sultan had ordered that the casualties not be identified “so the situation will not escalate.”

The dead will be buried in Lahad Datu, he said.

Stay put in Sabah

“Our stand is the same. Rajah Mudah (Crown Prince) Agbimuddin Kiram will stay put in the area to discipline [our followers]. But if the Malaysians will attack, they will do the same,” Idjirani said.

He said that before the clash in Sabah, representatives of the sultan led by one of his brothers, Abdelnasser Kiram, were on their way to the Malaysian embassy for an “informal dialogue” with the Malaysian ambassador.

But reports of the clash in Tanduao came while the group was on the road, he said.

The sultan recalled the representatives “because the [shooting had] started,” Idjirani said.

“The sultan is still open (to talks) because our advocacy is still peace,” Idjirani said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) could not immediately confirm deaths on the side of the group led by Agbimuddin, a brother of the Sulu sultan, but said it had reports that 10 either surrendered or were arrested.

The Star newspaper of Malaysia reported that two police commandos were killed by mortar fire and four other policemen were injured in the raid on Tanduao village in Lahad Datu town where Agbimuddin’s group had been holed up since Feb. 9.

Prime Minister Najib confirmed that two policemen were killed but said only three were injured in the clash.

The Star quoted Najib as saying he had given security forces authority to take whatever action they thought necessary to end the standoff.

Najib said Agbimuddin’s group had ventured 1.5 kilometers from their holed up area and opened fire at the Malaysian security forces.

No more grace period

“I am very sad over the incident because what we had wanted to prevent, which is bloodshed, had actually happened,” he said.

“Now there is no grace period for the group to leave,” he added.

Earlier, Najib warned Agbimuddin’s group to leave before the authorities took action.

“Do not test our patience, our patience has reached the limit,” he said.

Agbimuddin’s group, variously reported as numbering 250, 235 and 180, with about 30 armed and styled as the “Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo,” had rebuffed efforts by the governments of both Malaysia and the Philippines to leave the village and return home to Sulu.

The sultan’s followers had insisted that Sabah belonged to the Sulu sultanate and they were only returning to their “homeland.”

The clash

Three extensions of a Feb. 22 deadline for them to leave had expired and the Philippine government had requested a fourth extension, but Agbimuddin had refused to lead his group out, saying he took orders only from his brother the sultan.

Hamza said the shootout was sparked when the sultan’s followers fired at security forces as they were tightening their cordon around Tanduao.

“The intruders fired at us, then we returned fire,” he said.

“As a result of the fire two of my men died, three were injured and . . . 12 intruders died,” he said.

“The operation is still going on,” he said, adding that police continued to surround the area.

Agbimuddin told radio station dzBB in Manila that Malaysian police surrounding Tanduao opened fire at midmorning and that his group fought back.

“They suddenly came in. We had to defend ourselves,” Agbimuddin said.

Gunfire was heard in the background while Agbimuddin was being interviewed by phone.

In a second interview with the radio station, Agbimuddin said he had received reports that some of his men were wounded but he was not ordering a retreat or sue for a truce.

He said he himself was trading shots with the Malaysian policemen and he would continue fighting.

A source who was located near the area of the fire fight told the INQUIRER that Agbimuddin’s group was caught off guard, but was able to return fire with rifles and mortars.

“They came crawling and they fired the first shots,” the source said.

The attack, the source said, was carried out not by ordinary police forces of Malaysia but by military commandos acting on information from a civilian agent of the Special Branch.

Special Branch officers were among the first negotiators to talk with Agbimuddin after the group’s arrival in Lahad Datu, the source said.

The source said Jamalul talked with Agbimuddin by phone in the afternoon and told him to hold his ground, but with the information that direct negotiations with Malaysia were under way.

At sunset, the source said, Agbimuddin buried his slain followers.

DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said the department had received reports that the sultan’s followers had fled toward the sea.

 

No prisoners

Idjirani denied that any of the sultan’s followers surrendered to the Malaysians or were captured during the clash in Tanduao.

“There’s no truth to the report made by the Department of Foreign Affairs that Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram has been hurt. There’s no truth that 10 members of the Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo have surrendered or have been captured,” Idjirani said.

He denied the information from the DFA that the sultan’s followers fled to the sea.

“How can they escape by sea in broad daylight? It’s like telling [the police], ‘Go ahead, shoot us,’” he said. With reports from Arlyn dela Cruz, AP, AFP and The Star/Asia News Network

 First posted 1:15 pm | Friday, March 1st, 2013


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Tags: Abraham Idjirani , Diplomacy , Lahad Datu , Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak , Philippines-Malaysia bilateral ties , Sabah , Sabah claim , Sabah standoff , Southeast Asian History , Sultan Jamalul Kiram III , Sultan of Sulu , Sultanate of Sulu , Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III , Tanduao village , World History

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KFKCKXVYJ6SK7MUFUDPYUILGVE Hapy

     Until there is no Justice there will be no peace. To the rightful owner
    of SABAH. The legitimate Sultan of Sulu. I salute you and all who fights
    for their Rights to reclaim what is due to them, the landless and
    homeless people of the Kingdom of Sulu.

    The idiot government of
    AQUINO should be assisting fully the Kirams.There should be no if’s and
    but’s about this. Now is the time… There is NO legitimacy to an
    endless LEASE .

    There is no such thing as that. Your case in
    court is NULL and VOID whatever court you go to. Sharia ,UN or  the
    Islamic Council. You just don’t want to give the property back to the
    Sultan. For $1,500 your paying , give  me a
    F>>>>>>>>>break you thieving jerks.

    Take
    back what is rightfully your’s and let the whole world know the
    remnants of COLONIALISM being perpetuated by the Malaysian’s. Imagine a
    leased property being incorporated to a new nation of Malaysia.  WRONG
    !!!!! You dont have that Right. You just took it and grabbed the LAND
    beacause your British BS  backer is there helping you to do that.

    Muslim
    Brother’s and Christian’s of the world ,  for the sake of the future
    generation  and to acquire peace, please help the Sultan of Sulu get
    their Land and Kingdom back from the aggressors of their own land.

     Malaysians
    its time to relinquish your grip on SABAH. Give it back or it will be
    taken away from you. Any which way its possible !!!!. There is no
    question about this !!!!

  • eltee mulawin

     

    >>>Nasaan 
    at no comment ang mga pinuno ng MILF at higit si Mr Murad -nasaan  siya
    ngayon ? dahil ba binigay at ibibigay ng PNoy govt ang gusto ninyo at higit sa
    lahat HINDI KAYO TAUSUG.
    >>>WHERE IS MR. MISUARI AT MNLF??  THIS IS THE GREAT MOMENT
    IPAKITA NINYO ANG DIWA NG PAGKAKAISA NG MGA TAUSUG AT PILIPINO MUSLIM !!!
    >>>WHY MNLF ( THE LARGEST MUSLIM PILIPINO REBELS IN MINDANAO? ) AND MR
    MISUARI UNTIL NOW NO COMMENT, AND WHERE ARE THOSE PEOPLE NOW?
    >>>ARE THEY COOKING SOMETHING??? 

    >>>MILF,
    MNLF BMFF OR WHATEVER AT ABU SAYAF, ANG TATAPANG NINYO AT PINAGMAMALAKI NINYO
    NA MGA MODERNO AT MALALAKAS ANG INYONG MGA ARMAS,….BAKIT NGAYON TILA UMIGSI O
    LUMIIT ANG MGA DILA NINYO TUNGKOL DITO AT BAKIT WALA KAYONG MGA PRESS
    RELEASES??? DAHIL BA HINDI KAYO MAKIKINABANG??

    >>>ANG MGA MEDIA NAMAN, BAKIT WALA KAYO
    MA-INTERVIEW SA MGA MILF AT MNLF NGAYON, HINDI NINYO MAKITA SILA NGAYON ??? WOW
    NMAN KATAKA-TAKA NAMAN !!!! 

    • Fernando Gutierrez

      Hindi nakakatawa yan. Ibig sabihin kapwa Muslim wala sila pakialam sa ipinaglalaban ninyo. 

      Kung meron man sa simula kinalaman ang MNLF/MILF, ngayon pumalag ang Malaysia nabahag ang buntot nila.

      Kaya magisa kayo ngayon sa delima ninyo.

  • Operation Merdeka

    The real issue here is about money….
    Nagpapadagdag lang nang bayad ang sultan ng sulu sa malaysian government para sa RENT ng sabah na matagal na nilang ginagawa…
    NGAYON TANONGIN KO KAYUNG LAHAT BAKIT SILA NAGBABAYAD NG 1800 DOLLAR A YEAR SA SULTAN OF SULU KUNG SAKANILA YUNG SABAH?….Ngayon sige mag isip kayo sample kukunin mo ba yung bahay na lam mong nirerent mo lang?…sige nga sagot nga mga matatalinong tao dito?…

    • kanoy

       THAT IS THE IDIOT ”SULTAN” FAULT….THE LAME BRAIN 3RD GRADE DROP OUT AND HIS EQUALLY LAME PREDECESSORS HAVE RECEIVED THIS LEASE MONEY 73 YRS AND AT THE END OF THE YR WHEN THE LEASE WAS UP THEY NEVER ONCE REWROTE A NEW LEASE AND RAISED THE RENT….YOU CAN NOT RAISE THE RENT DURING THE LEASE BUT AT THE END ITS A NEW CONTRACT UNDER NEW TERMS OR VACATE THE PROPERTY…MY BRO & I LEASE OUT PROPERTY AND I GOT 1 COUPLE WHO HAS BEEN THERE 7 YRS AND TWICE I RAISED THE RENT DUE TO TAXES COA AND UTILITY COSTS

      • Operation Merdeka

        I Agree with you… But a lease is still a lease…

      • kanoy

         TRUE,,,,BUT HE IS THE LANDLORD AND WHEN WE LEASE TO A TENANT BOTH WE AND THE TENANT ARE LEGALLY BOUND BY THE LEASE,,,IF I LEASE TO YOU FOR A 1 YR LEASE I CAN NOT JUST DECIDE I DON’T WANT YOU THERE 3 MONTHS INTO THE LEASE,,,GRAB A GUN AND ENTER YOUR HOME AND TELL YOU TO GET OUT,,,,YOU GOT A CONTRACT TO PROTECT YOU IF I WANTED YOU OUT BECAUSE YOU WHERE SELLING DRUGS I HAVE TO FIRST GO TO COURT AND PRESENT MY EVIDENCE TO A JUDGE TO GET A WARRANT OF EVICTION GIVE IT TO A COP TO SERVE YOU

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    president kalbo parang tatay niya hudas makapili traydor!!



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