Saturday March 2, 2013
Leader talks to radio station as shooting erupts
FELDA SAHABAT 17 (LAHAD DATU): As gunfire erupted in Tanduo village, Sulu group leader Raja Muda Azzimuddie Kiram was on the telephone with a Philippines radio station, giving them an update of what was happening on the ground.
Azzimudie, the younger brother of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, claimed that 10 of his men were killed and four were injured and that he was involved in the shooting.
The radio station, in its report, stated that it heard gunfire in the background at 10.20am yesterday as he talked twice, with one call disrupted.
When The Star tried calling him at about 11am, his phone first went into answering mode and later went dead.
Police have stated that they cannot ascertain if he was injured or if he was among the 12 Sulu gunmen killed.
None has managed to evade the land and sea security cordon.
As a flurry of reports of the firefight went online, various claims were made by the Philippines media, with one version claiming that Azzimudie and several of his followers had fled.
Another claimed that one of those killed was an armed Sulu woman.
Azzimudie, who was reported to have been staying in the house of a sick villager identified as Pakcik Umrah, had one of his sons with him and also his wife.
Police have yet to ascertain the number of Azzimudie’s followers still in the village.
Manila had claimed that the Sulu group comprised 180 followers, including 30 gunmen and seven women.