Published: Saturday March 2, 2013 MYT 8:07:00 PM
Cops drop leaflets ordering Sulu gunmen to surrender
LAHAD DATU: The police on Saturday dropped leaflets from a helicopter that orders Sulu gunmen holed up in a village in Sabah to surrender after a clash on Friday killed two police commandos and 12 gunmen.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said the leaflets carried the order in English and Suluk, reading: "Warning. Lay down your arms. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender."
Hamza also said that the police were collaborating with the army to resolve the matter.
He advised the people not to speculate on the number of security forces' personnel who were killed or injured in Saturday's gun battle and said that no curfew had been imposed in the area.
"I have to make this clear because there have been announcements of a curfew in social websites and blogs. I am in charge of issuing the order for a curfew, but I have not issued any order following yesterday's incident," he said.
The armed intruders were cordoned off by the police on Feb 12 after they arrived there and laid claim to Sabah.
Twelve of them and two police commandos were killed in a gun battle after the intruders opened fire when they stumbled upon the police in their attempt to move out of the area.
Hamza also said that a tactical approach was needed to remove the bodies of the dead intruders from the area.
Meanwhile, in LAHAD DATU, many business premises remained closed Saturday, with only a small number of shops and restaurants open for business.
A check by Bernama showed that not many people were in the town even though it was the weekend, and there were fewer vehicles than normal on the roads.
A resident of Silam, Mohd Nizame Enchek, 27, said he was shocked to find Lahad Datu town almost deserted and many shops closed.
It was the same story at Bandar Cenderawasih in Felda Sahabat 17, with a few shops and a restaurant open for business at the request of the security forces. - Bernama