Sabah police comb seaside village for escaped gunmen

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05:56 PM March 4th, 2013

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March 4th, 2013 05:56 PM

Malaysian police attend to a body of a gunman who was shot dead during a shoot-out with soldiers in Simunul village on March 4, 2013. Malaysia vowed to beef up security in the eastern state where at least 26 people have been reported killed after a bizarre invasion by Philippine followers of a self-styled sultan. AFP PHOTO

LAHAD DATU, Sabah—Teams of police are combing through a seaside settlement in Semporna to determine if any gunmen had escaped following an ambush three days ago that saw six policemen and six gunmen shot dead.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said Monday that CID teams were also determining the type of weapons used by the gunmen in Simunul village.

He said police had estimated that not more than 10 gunmen were involved in the incident that was linked to a standoff with the armed Sulu group at Tanduo village near here.

Hamza said the bodies of the policemen were being sent back for burial at their respective hometowns in Sabah and the peninsula after a post mortem on Monday.

He said Malaysian police was collaborating with the armed forces military operations against an armed Sulu group holed up at Tanduo village.

“We are harnessing technical aspects of the military but the operations remain under the police,” he said.

Hamza said police were also trying to verify reports of 10 intruders – three of whom were said to be armed and wearing camouflage uniforms – spotted at two villages in Kunak district.

He said residents from the two villages have been allowed to return home. They were evacuated following reports of sightings of the intruders late Saturday.

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