3 dead in shootout between Malaysia forces, PH gunmen | Global News

3 dead in shootout between Malaysia forces, PH gunmen

/ 02:07 PM December 09, 2016

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia—It was a night of high drama at Sabah’s east coast Darvel Bay when, for the first time, Malaysian security forces came into direct confrontation with Filipino gunmen involved in cross-border kidnappings.

Three suspected kidnappers were shot dead and three others captured in a 20-minute gunfight between the police’s Tiger Platoon and eight gunmen in waters off Pulau Bodgaya in Semporna at 9.40 pm Thursday.

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READ: Military verifying if Filipinos killed in Malaysian anti-kidnap operation

A policeman was shot in the foot during the shootout and was airlifted back to Semporna hospital at 1.50 am Friday.

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The whereabouts of two other suspects could not be immediately ascertained as security personnel continue to comb the area.

Sources said the group of heavily armed gunmen, strapped with bullets, was first spotted in a blue-twin engine 80HP speedboat heading towards the fishing trawler Yakin 2.

The General Operations Force Tiger Platoon, led by a corporal, immediately gave chase as the gunmen attempted to board the trawler.

A gunfight broke out in pitch darkness and it was only after the violence stopped did they find the three bodies of the suspects. Three other suspects surrendered.

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Sabah police commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun is expected to give more details later Friday.

It is widely believed that cross-border kidnap groups have been responsible for at least six of the nine robberies and kidnappings in the east coast this year.

They are believed to be based in the Tawi-Tawi chain of islands close to Sabah waters.

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RELATED STORIES

5 Malaysians believed kidnapped in Sabah waters

3 Malaysian fishermen kidnapped in Sabah waters

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TAGS: cross-border kidnappers, kidnappers, Malaysia, Philippines, Sabah, shootout
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