Published: Friday March 1, 2013 MYT 5:21:00 PM
Lahad Datu: Lull after the shootout
FELDA SAHABAT (LAHAD DATU) A lull is reported in the clash between Malaysian security forces and the Sulu armed group this afternoon after the exchange of gunfire in Tanduo village.
Although officially unconfirmed, the reported casualty tally remains at more then ten Sulu gunmen dead and four injured including its leader Rajah Mudah Azzimudie Kiram with two commandos of the General Operations Force dead and four injured.
Three of the GOF injured men have been airlifted to Lahad Datu hospital and another to the Duchess of Kent hospital in Sandakan.
Conflicting reports emerged from the ground that the GOF forces were holding their fire and their positions while there has been no word from Azzumudie who last talked with a radio station in Manila at about 11am confirming the fire fight and the group's casualties.
It is believed that apart from machine gunfire, mortars were used during the encounter though details of how the clash began remains unclear.
However, it appears that the Malaysian security forces were fired upon first by the Sulu gunmen.
On standby are also the Army units who were seen at various strategic locations along the road to Sahabat Felda 17 where the Sulu group have been holed up.
Journalists have been told to wait at a neighbouring Sahabat 16 resort for a police press conference scheduled for 5pm.
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