14 dead, three injured in Lahad Datu shootout
FILE Soldiers arriving at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu.
FILE Soldiers arriving at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu.

LAHAD DATU: A dozen followers of the Sulu Sultan and two Malaysian police commandos were killed in a 20-minute shootout at Kampung Tanduo here this morning.

Three other members of the Malaysian security forces were injured.

Sabah police chief Datuk Hamza Taib said the shootout started at about 10am .

The 12 intruders came across a police patrol about 10am at Felda Sahabat 17, Kampung Tanduo, and started shooting, killing two police commandos and injuring three others.

In the ensuing 20-minute shootout, all the armed foreigners were killed, said the police.

The stand-off between the security forces and the rebel group continued and the cordon remained intact, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib told a press conference this evening.

The stand-off is being maintained because Malaysia wants the occupation to be resolved peacefully.

Recalling the incident, Hamza said the foreigners first opened fire at the Malaysian security forces before the police commandos were forced to retaliate in self-defence, followed by a gunbattle, said Hamza.

He said the police found various weapons, including the high-powered M-16 rifles, pistols and SLR rifles, bullets and bags of clothes from the small group who were part of 180 followers of the Sultan of Sulu who were holed up at Kampung Tanduo.

He said the police had blockaded Kampung Tanduo which was still occupied by members of the group, with security tightened around the area.

“As the police control all routes, it is difficult for the intruders to enter or leave the village area.”

Hamza also denied reports put up in social networks and a foreign news agency that the intruders had given themselves up and escaped by sea.

On this note, he said the police did not issue any curfew order in Lahad Datu, following the incident, adding that the situation in Kampung Tanduo was currently under control and calm. – Bernama