Published: Tuesday March 5, 2013 MYT 12:24:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 5, 2013 MYT 7:53:24 PM
Lahad Datu: House-to-house mopping up operations ongoing, says IGP
LAHAD DATU: Malaysian troops are scouring a 4sq km area at Kampung Tanduo, some 130kms from here, following an offensive against Sulu ''terrorists'' that began with air strikes at 7am.
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Omar Ismail said Tuesday that despite receiving heavy fire from the 100 or so Sulu gunmen, there were no casualties among Malaysian troops comprising VAT 69 commandos and General Operations Force from the police and soldiers.
''Our personnel are carrying out mopping up operations and conducting house-to-house checks. We cannot ascertain casualties among the enemy's side for now,'' he told a media conference at the Felda Sahabat residence some four hours after the offensive began.
Ismail said there were also no civilian casualty.
He said Malaysian security forces were left with no choice but to defend the nation's sovereignty and preserve its security by launching the offensive.
''They were determined not to surrender despite our best efforts including negotiations and even carpeting the area with thousands of leaflets urging them to lay down their arms,'' Ismail said.
Armed Forces Chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said enemy positions were bombed to ensure the safety of Malaysian security forces.