|Friday, 01 March 2013 14:49|
FELDA SAHABAT: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has confirmed that two security personnel were killed and another three injured in a fire exchange with the armed Filipino intruders today.
New Straits Times reported Najib said between 10 and 12 intruders were also killed.
Bernama reported that the two commandos were killed in a mortar attack while patrolling at one of the posts around the village.
Malaysian Digest learnt that the duo were identified as Inspector Zulkifli Mamat (pic) and Corporal Sabaruddin Daud. Both were attached to the VAT69 outfit.
This came after initial reports that claimed at least 10 Sulu gunmen have been killed and four others injured during an exchange of fire about 10am.
Philippines news portals, quoting Sulu sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani reported that despite the casualties incurred by the group during the attack, the sultanate would continue to peacefully pursue their claim over Sabah.'
In the meantime, police has declared an immediate curfew in Lahad Datu following the gunfight.
It is learnt the decision was made as a precautionary measure after the two police commandoes were killed.
In a press conference at 6pm, Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib told reporters that 12 Sulu gunmen were killed in the clash between Malaysian General Operations Force members and the gunmen. The number of injured among the Sulu group is unknown.
Meanwhile, a police source said the operation to weed out Filipino intruders at Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, was an integrated operation carried out by police, armed forces, including the civil defence force, Komando 69 and Marine police.
The situation in Lahad Datu was tense as many shops remained closed while residents living in the area remained indoors for fear of the current stand off between a group of Filipino intruders and the Malaysian security forces.
The Malaysian security forces had rounded up Kampung Tanduo on Feb 11, when about 150 men dressed in military attire and armed, had encroached into Malaysian waters and landed in the village on Feb 9.
Kampung Tanduo where the group was staying is a remote area situated about 130 kilometers from Lahad Datu.
The group have identified themselves as the Royal army of the Sulu Sultanate, headed by Agbimuddin Kiram.
Malaysia and the Philippines officials have had numerous negotiations with the group ever since but were futile.
VAT 69, Who and What Are They?
Very Able Troopers 69 (VAT 69) is a force established to fight the communist threat in 1969 and the insurgency years. Mooted by the then Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Tun Dr Ismail, VAT 69 was formed in 1969 itself as a small combat unit to counter the tactics and techniques of communist terrorists.