Lahad Datu: Police believe 15 Sulu gunmen were killed in March 1 firefight

LAHAD DATU, March 12 — Security forces plan to revisit the Kampung Tanduo area where 12 bodies were found as they believe 15 Sulu terrorists could have been killed in the March 1 clash with security forces in the village.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said today nine of the bodies were found in a gravesite and that based on fresh information it was believed that there could be other gravesites in the area.

Speaking at a news conference here at 10 am, he said the police would not remove the bodies as they had decomposed.

He also said that security forces recovered a body in Kampung Tanjung Batu yesterday, raising to 23 the number of bodies recovered so far.

Hamza also confirmed that one of the 23 bodies was that of a general, identified only as Musa, who was killed in a clash in Kampung Tanjung Batu.

Hamza said there had been no clashes between the security forces and the Sulu terrorists over the past 24 hours up to 10 am today.

The security forces launched the “Ops Daulat” offensive on March 5 after Sulu terrorists killed eight policemen in Kampung Tanduo and Kampung Simunul, Semporna, on March 1 and 2. Five policemen were also injured in the two attacks.
The terrorists had holed up in Kampung Tanduo since Feb 12 and had not responded to government overtures for them to lay down arms and surrender unconditionally.

Hamza said the “Ops Daulat” offensive, which entered its eighth day today, was focused on Kampung Tanjung Labian and Kampung Tanjung Batu.- BERNAMA