Published on: Monday, March 04, 2013
Lahad Datu: Another policeman was killed in the ambush by a group of armed intruders in Kampung Sri Jaya, Siminul, Semporna, Sabah on Saturday night, bringing the number of Malaysian policemen killed in the incident to six.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said six armed intruders were also killed in the exchange of fire that ensued in the 8pm incident in the water village.
In the rescue operation launched Sunday and which ended at 7pm, police also managed to bring out 19 of their men to safety from the village.
At a press conference at 9pm held at Felda Sahabat, Kampung Tanduo, here, Ismail also said the bodies of the six policemen killed had been taken to Semporna Hospital. "Their identities will be revealed to their respective families before being posted on the official website of the Royal Malaysian Police," he said.
At an earlier press conference on Sunday, Ismail announced that five policemen and two armed intruders were killed in the incident.
He had said that the five from the Semporna district police headquarters were tasked to carry out investigation in the village after police received information on the presence of a group of armed men in the village.
He said the policemen were shot at while approaching a house in the village and they fired back to defend themselves.
At Sunday night's press conference, Ismail denied that policemen were held hostage in the incident and were decapitated by the intruders.
"This is just a rumour and I ask the public not to believe any rumour on the incident," he said. He added that the situation in the village had returned to normal.
Last Friday, two VAT 69 commandos, ASP Zulkifli Mamat, 29, and Sergeant Sabarudin Daud, 46, were killed and three other policemen injured in a shootout with the armed intruders, claiming to be members of the royal army of the Sulu Sultanate in the Philippines, in Kampung Tanduo, 130km from here.
Twelve of the intruders were also killed in the incident.
Ismail said he would name the five policemen later.
In a separate development, Ismail said police detected another group of 10 men, three of them armed, in Kampung Lomalong and Kampung Dasar Lama, Kunak, about 60km from here, at about 10pm on Saturday.
"We're tracking their movement," he said.
Ismail said the police also detained three of the more than 150 armed intruders who had entrenched themselves in Kampung Tanduo since Feb 9.
"The three men are believed to have attempted to leave the group," he said, declining to provide further details of the arrests.
Meanwhile, Ismail said the security situation in three areas where the security forces are holding off Filipino armed intruders is under control.
"I have called the Armed Forces Chief (Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin) to strengthen our position over incidents involving the armed intruders in three areas.
"We are in a state of readiness to take further action," he said.
The areas are Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak.
Ismail asked the people not to believe rumours and unconfirmed reports on the situation or make assumptions based on postings on social media networks. He said the police had not imposed a curfew in the areas and assured tourists of their safety.
Meanwhile, Zulkifeli said Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak residents should go about their daily activities as usual without worrying for their safety for the armed forces were working closely with the police to address the security situation there.
"The IPG and I are mapping out operations and we can handle this situation by enforcing tight security," he said.
Zulkifeli said two more battalions were deployed in several areas in the east coast of Sabah on Sunday in an effort to restore public confidence.