Malaysian forces arrest 40 in fresh crackdown on armed Filipinos


In this Tuesday, March 5, 2013 photo released by Malaysia’s Ministry of Defense, Malaysian soldiers join an assault near the area where a stand-off with Filipino gunmen took place, at Tanduo village in Lahad Datu, Borneo’s Sabah state, Malaysia. AP FILE PHOTO

DIGOS CITY – Nearly 40 people were taken into custody in less than 24 hours as of 8 a.m. Sunday as Malaysian security forces continued their sweep of suspected local supporters of the Sulu “royal army” in at least three Sabah areas.

The fresh wave of arrests had brought to about 120 the number of people taken into custody from various Sabah areas on suspicion of having links with the Sulu gunmen, the Malaysian police chief had confirmed.

A reporter for a Kota Kinabalu-based shortwave band radio station said the latest round of arrests took place in Kampung Pinggir Bakau in Semporna, which, along with Lahad Datu and Kunak, has been considered “red area” due to the alleged presence of the armed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.

Previously, Malaysian security forces only concentrated on a small area of Lahad Datu, specifically a portion of the resettlement area of Felda Sahabat, but had since widened the scope of their operation when Agbimuddin Kiram and his followers also launched strikes in other areas – killing a total of eight policemen and wounding several others.

On the side of what Malaysian authorities now call “terrorists,” 53 had allegedly been confirmed dead but only 13 bodies had so far been recovered.

The reporter, quoting unnamed Semporna police sources, said the police crackdown in Kampung Pinggir Bakau started at about 8 a.m. and lasted for about an hour. It was not clear, however, if the arrested men were Filipinos or locals but in Semporna, there are many Filipino communities.

He said the operating troops, who descended on the village, were from the Malaysian Royal Police’s Special Action Force (UTK) and described them as “clad in full battle gear.”

The reporter,  whose name the Philippine Daily Inquirer had missed, said while some policemen, sporting automatic rifles, guarded the main road leading to the village, others stormed the houses and hauled several men from there.

“They escorted more than 10 people out of the houses and loaded them on a police truck, which sped off towards an undetermined location,” the reporter, who covered the sweep, said in Melayu.

Earlier, Malaysian police Inspector General Ismail Omar told the same radio station that 27 people had been arrested by security forces off Tanjung Batu in Tawau around 10 a.m. Saturday.

Ismail said the men were on three boats when spotted by security forces and were immediately accosted and taken into custody.

He said the men “claimed to be fishermen out to go fishing but we wondered what they were doing within the operational area, which was supposed to be off-limits to civilians,” Ismail said.

He clarified though that no firearm had been found on any of the men.

“They are now being detained and questioned at the Lahad Datu police headquarters,” Ismail said.

He said the assault against Agbimuddin’s group was continuing, along with the efforts to curb local support for the “terrorists.”

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  • Hey_Dudes

    Who is to stop Malaysia from doing what it need to do to rid their country of terrorist? Like or not, if the remnants are still alive and in hiding, sooner or later they will be found.  I think we pretty much know what awaits them if they get caught alive so its probably be better if slug it out they will die anyway whether or not they like it.

  • misuari playboy

    A six point message from a Tausug Sultan to all Tausugs in Sabah
    From Sultan of Sulu, Paduka Mahasari Maulana Sultan Shariful-Hashim II Mohd Akjan
    Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Shariful-Hashim.
    1. Don’t provide any
    form of assistance to the terrorist intruders of Jamalul Kiram III.
    2. The loyalty of
    Tausugs in Sabah is to Malaysia and its sovereignty and therefore Tausugs in
    Sabah should be among the first to step forward to defend the country at this
    time when she faces threats from a foreign country.
    3. The Tausugs in
    Sabah have been living in peace and harmony together with many other ethnic
    groups in Malaysia ever since and there’s absolutely no way we want to be part
    of the Philippines.  Stop using Sabah Claim to create troubles in Sabah.
    4. The Tausugs in Sabah
    strongly reject the so-called Sabah claim by Jamalul Kiram III. The United Nation (UN) and the entire world recognize the fact that Sabah has been a part of Malaysia since 1963.
    5. As Muslim, Tausugs in Sabah are really ashamed
    of the cruel and terrorists act by the Jamalul Kiram III clan mutilating the dead bodies of our
    police commandos who are of the same faith.
    6. Datu Albi Ahmad Julkarnian,
    the Chairman and Advisor of the Rumah-Rumah Bicara of the Sulu Sultanate has never endorsed the armed intrusion by Jamalul Kiram III and his followers.
    Sunday, March 10, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu Sabah

    • sakinlang

      paid post! how much?

    • Alan

      One thing if this person represents the Sultanate, why aren’t the payments made to him?

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