Published: Tuesday March 5, 2013 MYT 5:18:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 5, 2013 MYT 7:19:44 PM
Lahad Datu: IGP - Intruders could still be in the area
By RUBEN SARIO
KOTA KINABALU: The going is slow for Malaysian security forces in their search and mop-up operations at Kampung Tanduo, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar (pix) said.
"This involves a big area - about 4sq km - and I believe there are still enemies in the area," he told a press conference at the Felda Sahabat Residence hotel near here Tuesday.
He also said follow-up operations were also slow due to the uneven terrain of the area.
"I have ordered the commanders on the ground to be cautious. I do not want police or military personnel becoming casualties," Ismail added.
"There have been zero casualties so far because our forces are taking it slow and being careful and methodical," he added.
Asked about the possibility of some of the Sulu gunmen escaping from the Kampung Tanduo battle zone he said: "We hope they have not slipped our security cordon."
He also dismissed reports from Manila quoting the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamallul Kiram III claiming that members of his "royal army" had found bodies of Malaysian security personnel.
"It is regrettable that a person can make such a claim without knowing the facts. It's accusations like these that are threatening safety in Sabah," Ismail added.
He said he had not received any feedback of any Malaysian security forces personnel injured or killed in the offensive that began at 7am.
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