MANILA, Philippines – The Malaysian defense minister said Wednesday that 13 alleged members of the Sulu “royal army” were killed in the air and ground assault conducted by Malaysian security forces on Tuesday.
Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Malaysian media that the bodies were found by the security personnel conducting mop-up operations following their bombing and ground assault.
“We believe more have been killed. The mop-up operation is still going on,” Hamidi was quoted as saying by Malaysian media.
He said that the bodies were found with weapons and also showed a photograph to media of seven of the bodies found.
“No security personnel were injured in the operation,” Hamidi further said.
The Sulu “royal army,” estimated to be composed of 200 Filipino and led by Rajah Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, have sailed to Sabah to reclaim what they said was their rightful territory.
The assault on Tuesday was an attempt to end the more than three week standoff.