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LAHAD DATU: Over 100 people arrested in connection to the Feb 12 Sulu armed intrusion at Kg Tanduo about 135km from here are likely to face charges in court very soon.

Those arrested include suspected gunmen, uniformed personnel and villagers who might have directly or indirectly abetted the Sulu gunmen.

As of yesterday, 107 people were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Somsa) and over 243 for various other offences including the Immigration Act and National Registration Act.

Some of them were arrested within the Ops Daulat area where security forces launched an air and artillery offensive on March 4 to flush out the terrorists from Tanduo before it spread towards villages in Tanjung Labian area.

Many others were arrested in Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak, Sandakan and other parts of the state.

Sabah police chief Comm Datuk Hamza Taib said the suspects were being investigated for various offences including possession of offensive weapons, suspicious personal documents and illegal entry, among others.

He explained that Somsa (which replaced the Internal Security Act) was used for investigations and charges would be filed under the Penal Code.

Meanwhile, gun fights continued between security forces and the Sulu terrorists in the Kg Tanjung Batu area where police estimate fewer than 50 gunmen were still hiding among the wooden stilt houses of the village whose occupants have fled.

He said the Personnel Armoured Carriers (AVC 300 Adnan) entered Kg Tanjung Batu yesterday to clear the area of remaining terrorists and other threats.

Hamza explained that the AVC 300 had better mobility compared with previous military tanks and could have better access in the operation zones.

“We are better equipped now and we expect to complete clearing the Tanjung Batu area in the next 24 hours,” he added.

- The Star

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/20/nation/12860560&sec=nation