Published: Saturday March 2, 2013 MYT 5:40:00 PM
Lahad Datu: Chronology of events
KUALA LUMPUR: The following is the chronology of events pertaining to the intrusion into Lahad Datu, Sabah by an armed group from southern Philippines:
Feb 9 - The group enters Malaysian waters in a boat and begins to gather in stages at Felda Sahabat 17, Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu. Feb 11 - A gang from the group is discovered by a group of local fishermen at night. The fishermen lodge a police report that 100 armed men in army fatigues are putting up in Kampung Tandou.
Feb 12 - The group breaks into smaller groups to enter several locations in the village, namely Sungai Bakau village, village surau and the house of one Ahmad Malandi, also known as Mad Bon.
Feb 14 - Prime Minister Najib Razak says the Malaysian government will try its best, including negotiations, to handle the issue of intrusion before ousting them from the area. Inspector-general of police Ismail Omar says the police identify the group of Filipinos who landed on the shore of Lahad Datu as being linked to the 'Sulu Sultanate' from southern Philippines.
He says the group claims to be the 'Royal Army of the Sulu Sultanate' and they do not want their people of Sulu descent to be sent back to their country of origin.
Ismail says, negotiations with the armed group is still in progress to find the best solution, without bloodshed.
A report quotes a Philippine army personnel, who is a loyal follower of Sulu raja muda, Azzimudie Kiram, as saying the group has come at the invitation of a "Malaysian opposition" to discuss land issues in Sabah.
Feb 16 - Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (centre in photo) confirms the group is not a militant or terrorist group but is in fact, strong supporter of the Sulu Sultanate and stresses the situation in Kampung Tanduo is under control.
The group, which wants to be known as the 'Royal Army of Sulu Sultanate', among others, is also claiming ownership of Sabah and wants the state to be returned as a territory of the Sulu Sultanate, claiming it was seized by the British from the Sulu Government.
Feb 18 - Hishammuddin says the governments of Malaysia and Philippines are working closely to resolve the conflict, through diplomacy and without bloodshed.
Feb 24 - The Philippine government sends a boat under humanitarian mission to ferry the 180 armed personnel, including 30 armed guards, holding up in Lahad Datu, Sabah since Feb 12. Feb 26 - The deadline to expel the group passes but negotiations are still in progress.
Feb 28 - The Malaysian government is urged to negotiate directly with sultan Jamalul Kiram III in Manila to end the conflict of seizing the area in Lahad Datu, Sabah which has prolonged for more than three weeks. The call is made by Jamalul's youngest brother, Agbimuddin Kiram, who stresses that only his brother can order the 180 Royal Army personnel to leave Felda Sahabat 17, Lahad Datu.
March 1 - a shootout breaks out between security forces and a small group of intruders when they try to break a police blockade in Kampung Tanduo, resulting in two police commandos dead and three others injured.
All 12 members of the small group of intruders are killed. - Bernama