KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The army launched an attack on the Filipino intruders at Kampung Tanduo, Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu at 7am today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in a statement today
The Star Online reported that fresh fighting began between the Sulu gunmen and security forces early this morning.
Gunshots were heard and fighter jets were seen circling around the Felda Sahabat plantation. Four explosions were also heard in Kampung Tanduo, the daily reported.
The group of 200 armed men, claiming to be the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army, had landed on February 9 to revive their sultan’s claim for the Borneo state.
Armed Forces Chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said yesterday seven more battalions have been sent to Sabah since Saturday, with five in Lahad Datu and one each based in Sandakan and Tawau.
Zulkifeli said although the armed Filipino militants were present only in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu as well as Kampung Lormalong and Kampung Dasar Lama in Kunak, security personnel were deployed to Sandakan and Tawau to provide security for residents there.
“We are collaborating with the police and their security forces to protect our country,” he said.
A fleet of military trucks ferrying army personnel was spotted heading to Kampung Tanduo in Felda Sahabat, which is said to be twice the size of Singapore with its 57 plantations.
National Security Council secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab told the New Straits Times that there had been an increase in the number of personnel from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, marine police, navy and air force patrolling and conducting surveillance over the past two days.