Tuesday March 12, 2013
Lahad Datu: Grocery store worker tells of fearful times during incursion
LAHAD DATU: A tense four days followed a hurried evacuation for Ismali Fendy when he was separated from his family in Kampung Tanjung Labian.
Ismali, a grocery store worker, said he had just arrived home from work in the same village when fellow villagers fled their homes after news that armed Suluk gunmen had been seen entering their village last Wednesday.
“After telling my wife about it, we decided to leave as it was the safest thing to do,” said the 22-year-old father of a year-old son.
His parents and two siblings living next door refused to leave as they wanted to protect their belongings.
“After that, the army came and surrounded the village,” he said.
While Ismali sought shelter in a friend's home in Kg Desa Kencana, located 30 minutes away by car, the family kept in contact by telephone.
His family and other residents were finally allowed to leave the village on Sunday.
“I gave them big hugs, and scolded them for not listening to me earlier,” said Ismali.