Malaysian police reports 2 clashes with Sulu ‘invaders’ Monday

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Malaysian soldiers discuss strategies at Sungai Nyamuk where a stand-off with Filipino gunmen took place, near Tanduo village in Lahad Datu, Borneo’s Sabah state, Malaysia, on Thursday, March 14, 2013. Malaysian security forces twice clashed with the “royal army” during mopping-up operations in Tanjung Batu in Lahad Datu on Monday, March 18, 2013, Malaysian police Chief Insp. Gen. Ismail Omar said. AP PHOTO/MALAYSIA’S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

DIGOS CITY, Philippines– Malaysian security forces twice clashed with the “royal army” during mopping-up operations in Tanjung Batu in Lahad Datu on Monday, Malaysian police Chief Insp. Gen. Ismail Omar said.
Speaking to reporters at the media center in Felda Sahabat, as reported by a Sabah-based radio station, Ismail said no casualty had been recorded on the Malaysian side and that it remained uncertain whether or not the “terrorists” also suffered injuries or even deaths in the two firefights that took place just 40 minutes apart starting 8:05 a.m.
He was quoted as saying the clashes had validated suspicions by Malaysian security forces that the “enemies” had moved farther into Tanjung Batu as their former hideaways in the villages of Sungai Nyamuk and Tanduo had been recaptured.
The state-run Radio 24, quoting Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib as telling reporters during the same news conference, said Malaysian security forces also suspected that Tanjung Batu had become the last frontier of the resistance of the “enemies.”
He said there could be fewer than 50 “terrorists” remaining of the more than 200 “invaders,” and that they had now converged in Tanjung Batu in an obvious “final battle.”
At least 62 members of the Sulu “royal army” had been killed, dozens injured and captured, while dozens more of others had fled Sabah and had been intercepted by authorities in the Philippines since Ops Daulat started on March 5.
Malaysian security forces suffered casualties of eight policemen and two soldiers dead, the latest being on Sunday.
Army Division Commander Maj. Gen. Ahmad Zaki Mokhtar, the state-run Berita Nasional Malaysia (Bernama) reported, had said the “terrorists” were apparently preparing for a protracted war as “ordered” by Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
But Ahmad Zaki said Malaysian security forces were ready and would finish the battle in just a few days from Monday.
The Sabah crisis started from a stand-off on Feb. 12, three days after Jamalul’s brother Agbimuddin Kiram and his men arrived for a “homecoming” on the Malaysian state.
Although they were not as sophisticatedly armed as the Malaysians—using mainly vintage rifles such as Carbine and Garand in addition to the traditional kris and machete—they had managed to stand up to the days of air strikes and artillery rounds, as well as ground assault by nearly 5,000 ground forces backed by armored personnel carriers.
Ahmad Zaki said more military hardware had arrived, including a “squadron of tracked Armored Personnel Carriers (APC)” to help ground forces with the operation.
The new batch of APCs would be used in such “unreachable” areas as swamps, he said.
Bernama also reported that Malaysian Armed Forces Chief Gen. Zulkifeli Mohamad Zin had told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, also on Monday, that the police and military action in Tanjung Batu could wrap up within the next two or three days.
He also confirmed, Bernama said, that new army battle tanks had arrived in Cenderwasih in Lahad Datu earlier in the day although he was not specific on the number of the newly arrived hardware.
As this developed, the number of arrested persons in connection with the campaign against the sultanate of Sulu’s bid to retake Sabah, and for violation of restrictions against civilians in some areas, had already reached 349 as of Monday. One of those earlier arrested has died of illness in a hospital, Ismail said, which put the total number of “living persons” currently in detention at 348.
The new arrests took place in a water village in Sandakan after villagers tipped off the police about the presence of three suspicious men, the Sabah-based radio station reported Monday.
Quoting an unidentified police source, the station said the three men were being detained under the Security Offenses and Special Measures Act (Sosma), which allows authorities to keep a suspected terrorist under custody for 28 days without being charged.
Bernama, which also carried a report on the Sandakan arrest, has quoted Sandakan police chief Rowell Marong as confirming the three men, whose identities remain unknown as of Monday evening, were nabbed on the water village of Sim-Sim.
The police, according to the Sabah radio report, had said no firearm or weapon of any kind had been seized from the suspects, who were all of Filipino descent.
Bernama had quoted Rowell as saying the arrest of the three men prompted police to place water villages in Sandakan under tight watch.
Water villages in Sabah had become the object of recent discussions among authorities following several arrests or deaths of suspected Sulu gunmen in these areas, which is mostly populated by the Orang Bajau, or people who trace their origin in Tawi-Tawi, since the Malaysian crackdown started.
Six of the 10 Malaysian casualties also died in a water village in Semporna district after an ambush by Sulu gunmen on March 2.
Recently, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he favored the demolition of the water villages, whose proliferation he allowed when he was Malaysian leader because of humanitarian considerations for the Badjaos.
Mahathir, Malaysian media had reported, allegedly said the water villages had proven to be not only eye sores but also the source of pollution; and more importantly, the hideaways of criminals and, recently, “the terrorists.”
But he clarified that Malaysian citizens and foreigners who had acquired permanent residency should be relocated.
“Those without identification or immigration documents have to be sent to their places of origin,” said Mahathir, who remains a powerful figure in Malaysian governance despite retiring as leader several years ago.
In Sarawak, police authorities have tightened “security surveillance” to keep the “invaders” away.
Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, Sarawak police commissioner, had said the particular areas they were watching closely were the Sarawak districts of Merapok, Lawas and Limbang. He said the Sabah police were also keeping an eye on the Sabah district of Sindumin, near Merapok.
“Even though, there were still no threats evident in Sarawak, we are monitoring the security situation closely,” Radio 24 quoted Acryl Sani as telling reporters at the Miri airport, also on Monday.

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  • notmeitsthedog

    I don’t know why people here are rooting for the “Royal Army”. If you read and understand what is happening, you’ll find that it’s a dubious event. The sultan wants an increase in rent or wants to be part of Malaysia, along with his sulu kingdom. The milf wants independence and expressed to join the Malaysia Federation. All the while, they tells us they are Filipinos that needs our support and understanding for their desired autonomy. What guarantees we have that after they become autonomous, they will not declare independence and join malaysia? none, but their true goal is not even a secret. Philippines lose either way.

    As far as I’m concern, the true Sultanate of Sulu is long dead. He joined our republic and relinquished his throne and sovereignty over his kingom. The kirams fighting over the throne, some of them have anti Philippines tendencies, and their behavior and conduct is undesirable of true royalties or community leaders. Their “princess” tried to fool the public with misrepresented photos of dead soldiers from other countries for our sympathy.

    What happens if later, malaysia accepted kiram’s offer to join them and recognize sulu and autonomous Mindanao independence? This could be a pretext for annexation. We can continually blame malaysia but truth is, those who betrayed us is within our borders. Those who created war that stagnate the development in mindanao is not malaysia nor our government, its the so called Moros who clearly does not represent the whole Muslim Mindanao.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/XFH3CDZSZKVLX4G74PJOQ3L64U Natx Bacalzo

      you cant know because you’re a moron.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000463788427 Hans Hans

        the thing is, you’re the moron one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000463788427 Hans Hans

      yeah at last a decent Pinoy. it’s true he only wanted to increase the rent. he also consider to apply Malaysian citizenship. this was stated by his own daughter, “Princes” Jacel.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XFH3CDZSZKVLX4G74PJOQ3L64U Natx Bacalzo

    mahatir is a devil incarnate, a typical malaysian hypocrite. the only reason he allowed stilt villages during his administration not only in Sabah but in other malaysian states is because it a cheap source of votes for his administration.

    malaysia can put all its military resources in Sabah to try to finish the few followers of the Sulu Royal Forces. Once in a while, study in military doctrine and tactics need a case to study fools in military uniforms and a good laugh!

    The real terrorists is the state of malaysia for fuelling muslim insurgency in its non-muslim neighbors and pretend to be peace advocates by brokering these insurgencies to protect its landgrabbing. Luckily, the world knows the real terrosists.

    • Benjamin Ismail

      u dont even measure up to his spit so give it a rest

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000463788427 Hans Hans

      well this man you curse have bigger brain compare to all Philippines Presidents combined.

      yeah lucky the whole world knows Philippines is a nest of terrorist full with uncivilized beggar and Malaysia is a peaceful paradise Malaysia Truly Asia.

  • foreignerph

    Why is “invaders” still between quotes mr. Nawal? A journalist should not ride the waves of ultra-nationalism and populism. In fact these armed men didn’t go on a picnic but they were invaders, whatever their reasons.

    • peaceboy quack

      Ok my malaysian friend! I understand your concern for the malaysian that you are. “Invader” word is used to describe the intrusion or to enter with force at ones OWN land. So understandably being the malaysian party, they can use Invader to describe.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000463788427 Hans Hans

        another delusional

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q6UHKC43FYFDBCZ2T44ZKDPYA4 Cabal

        Of course the sabah local natives can describe kiram’s group as terrorists and invaders. They have existed there thousands of years ago even before there is a ancient sultanate that range only in hundreds of years. The tausugs or sulu people were never a majority race in sabah, not once in the history of mankind.

  • $18209031

    Malamang kunsabo rin itong mga Malayo Bhumiputras hit teams and mga tagaleg assassins. Time for all supporters of Sultan Kiram to condemn this plot by Malayos and their derivatives. DO not trust anyone for they want this issue of Sabah buried for good.

    Remember the Malayo and Tagaleg elites are in joint ventures in business, they dont want that jeopardized.

  • paulcastillo100

    simple solution give amount money for the sultan. and give portion territory to make filipino live in decency.. Lahad datu, tawau and senpakan. the whole southEastern side is for sultan of sulu

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