MALAYSIA - Below is the statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the Lahad Datu incident.
Since the intrusion by a group of gunmen in Lahad Datu on Feb 12, the government has taken an approach to resolve the conflict without any bloodshed.
The police have arranged for meetings and discussions hoping that the intruders would agree to leave peacefully without facing serious action.
However, as the intrusion prolonged, it was clear that the intruders had no intention to leave Sabah. Last Friday, they fired shots at policemen on duty causing the deaths of two officers and one day later, another six policemen were killed by intruders in Semporna.
After the first attack, I have reaffirmed that the intruders must surrender or we will act.
As an Islamic country that loves peace and uphold the struggle to end conflicts through negotiations, our effort to prevent bloodshed in Lahad Datu failed. Our security forces were attacked and our men killed. Malaysians, especially in Sabah, are worried for their safety.
The government must take action to defend the country's dignity and sovereignty as demanded by the people.
At 7am this morning, our security forces have launched an attack (on the intruders) in Kampung Tanduo.