Sabah stand-off: Speedboat with 8 Filipinos on board stopped

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib.

LAHAD DATU - A speedboat with eight Filipinos was intercepted by security forces as it tried to enter the restricted coastal area under Ops Daulat near Sungai Bilis.

The eight, aged between 17 and 29, who were carrying 300 empty jerry cans and 369,000 pesos (S$11,300) were detained at about 12.15am yesterday.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said no weapons were found on them and police were investigating if they were in any way linked to the Sulu armed group.

He said the eight did not have any identification papers and were being detained under the Immigration Act.

"If there were any indication that they were linked to the Sulu gunmen, they could also be investigated under the Security Ordinance and Special Measures Act 2012," he said.

He also told the evening media briefing that three more bodies of the enemy were found in Kampung Tanduo and Sungai Nyamuk on Friday, bringing the total number of the Sulu gunmen killed so far to 61.

He said that if the Philippine Government did not respond to an official request to claim the bodies within three days, the Malaysian authorities would bury them according to their religious rites once identification was completed.

Army Division 1 Commander Maj-Gen Mohd Zaki Mokhtar told the media briefing that the operations to track down the remaining gunmen would be completed very soon.

Meanwhile, on the ground, the security forces were still being very cautious as the enemy had the advantage of hiding out in pairs or threes waiting for our soldiers.

It is believed that dozens of gunmen are still hiding out within the 10km radius covered by Ops Daulat.

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