Lahad Datu, Tungku: Malaysian security forces mopping the remnants of the armed gunmen shot dead another Sulu militant intruder at Kampung Tanjung Batu, about 8am yesterday.
Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the man was killed in a shootout while attempting to slip through the cordoned off areas of the village by security forces.
"This brings the total number of intruders killed in Kampung Tanduo and Kampung Tanjung Batu in Lahad Datu as well as Kampung Sri Jaya, Simunul in Semporna to 53.
"We have strengthened our cordon and narrow down the operation areas to four square kilometres in Kampung Tanduo and three square kilometres Kampung Tanjung Batu, and we believe that the intruders are now moving about individually or in a small group," Ismail said at a press conference at Felda Residence Sahabat, about 11.30am yesterday.
According to Ismail, following the initial arrests of more than 50 suspects believed to have links with the intruders, the security forces continued their efforts to hunt for more suspected militants.
Ismail said so far, as of fifth day of ‘Ops Daulat', they already detained 79 suspects comprising men and women who are believed to have connections with the Sulu gunmen.
"All the suspects are now in our custody for further investigation and interrogation is still ongoing to confirm if they have any connections or involved with the group," he added.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces chief, General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said they were focusing mainly on Kampung Tanduo and Kampung Tanjung Batu as the intruders were believed to be trying to escape from the security forces by moving between both villages.
He said it was believed the group could escape from Kampung Tanduo because of the landscape of the areas.
However, he said he believed the gunmen entered Kampung Tanduo and the security forces had strengthened their security cordon.
"Mopping operation is still ongoing at Kampung Tanduo to flush the gunmen out as we believe they might be hiding in the bushes and secondary jungle areas," he said.
Meanwhile, Ismail stressed no Malaysian security forces members were taken hostage by the militant intruders as claimed by Jamalul Kiram III.
"I don't know where they receive the information, but no one from our security forces is taken hostage," he said, adding that the bodies of the intruders who were gunned down by the security forces were still within the operation areas.--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online