MANILA, Philippines – One of the Filipino gunmen in Sabah was reportedly killed in an encounter Wednesday morning as Malaysian security forces continued their operations against the group.
“At 6:45 a.m., there were shots fired at our security forces and we returned fire and one of the enemies was shot,” Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar was quoted as saying in a briefing with Malaysian media in Tanduao village, Lahad Datu, Sabah.
“We believed he is killed,” Omar said, according to Malaysia’s The Star. The report however does not state if any body was found after the encounter.
Omar also said that the supporters of the Sultanate of Sulu, which have been encamped in the village for at least three weeks, had been continuously on the move to avoid detection.
Police have been conducting mopping-up operations to find the members of the group after Malaysian security forces bombed the village using fighter jets and artillery Tuesday morning to end the occupation.
The “Royal army” of the Sultanate of Sulu in Lahad Datu, led by Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, are in Sabah to reclaim what they say is their rightful territory.
At least 14 from the side of the “Royal army” and eight Malaysian policemen have been killed already from skirmishes that broke out after several weeks of the tense standoff and failed negotiations. The Star-Asia News Network