14 March 2013

Ringleader Still In Lahad Datu

A Malaysian soldier on the lookout for Sulu gunmen

LAHAD DATU: Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib believes Agbimuddin Kiram, who led a group of armed Sulu gunmen into Lahad Datu on Feb 12, is still alive and hiding in Kampung Tanjung Batu, some 130km from Lahad Datu town.

“The Malaysian security forces believe he (Agbimuddin) is still here and with his group because as a leader he must not run.

“He will not run and leave his people by themselves here. He must lead them,” said Hamza during a media briefing together with Army First Infantry Division chief Maj-Gen Datuk Ahmad Zaki Mokhtar at the Felda Sahabat 16 yesterday.

Hamza said his belief that Agbimuddin never left the area was also based on the tight security at the red zone of the ‘Ops Daulat’ area, including sea route.

Agbimuddin is high on the Malaysian security forces’ wanted list after the deadly intrusion into Lahad Datu via Kampung Tanduo, some 150km from here.

After the first shootout on March 1, the number of deaths on the enemy’s side stands at 56, and 25 of the terrorists’ remains had been taken out of the red zone.

The number of Malaysia’s security forces killed stands at 10 eight police personnel and two soldiers. One of the soldiers, Cpl Ahmad Farhan Ruslan, had died due to a road accident at Km37 Lahad Datu-Kampung Tungku Road.

Hamza said vehicle escort Ahmad Farhan was killed when a three-ton military vehicle in the convoy from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu for ‘Ops Daulat’ skidded at 7.30am on Tuesday.

“We (police) will investigate this accident under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

“Nine members of Malaysia’s security forces are on the injured list.

“The security in Lahad Datu and Semporna is beginning to return to normal. Daily activities have resumed and schools have reopened, except those located within the operation zone (Sekolah Kebangsaan Tanjung Labian, SK Lok Buani and SK Fajar Harapan).

“As announced by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday (Tuesday), the students will be moved to another school so that their education is not affected, especially those sitting for the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination this year,” he said.

Hamza said no clashes were reported since Tuesday night up to 10am yesterday and that operations had been extended to Sungai Nyamuk near Tanjung Batu.

On Kampung Tanduo residents, Hamza said no green light had been given yet for them to return to their respective homes. He said although earlier reports had stated that the village was cleaned several factors needed to be studied, including whether they are squatters or illegal immigrants.

“There are only 10 houses there. Many aspects had to be considered, including the status of their citizenship. “The creation of the Sabah Special Security Area (ESSCOM) also requires that we carry out a more comprehensive study to resolve the matter.

“If they have no rights on the land, we may not allow them to return,” he said.

Asked for updates on the 12-year-old boy who was killed by Malaysian security forces recently, Hamza said police had yet to determine his identity.

“When you talk about identification, what do you mean by identification? Do they have document with them? They did not have any documents with them, so how can we identify them. We cannot, and we cannot simply say they are from this group or that group.

“As far as we are concerned, they are among the terrorists because they came from the target area.

“To prove a person’s identity, like being Malaysian, you need an identity card to show that you are Malaysian. You need a birth certificate. If you do not have any documentation, how can you say they are foreigners or they are Malaysians?” asked Hamza. - BORNEO POST

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