Published: Saturday March 9, 2013 MYT 12:47:00 PM
Updated: Saturday March 9, 2013 MYT 6:43:00 PM
Lahad Datu: Security forces shoot dead one gunman at Tanjung Batu village
By PHILIP GOLINGAI
LAHAD DATU: Security forces shot dead a Sulu gunman on Saturday who attempted to slip through a tight security cordon at Kampung Tanjung Batu.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the gunman died in a shootout at about 8am.
This brought to 53 the total number of Sulu gunmen killed in the two coastal villages where they are holed up and in the shootings in Semporna.
Ismail said the area of operations at Kampung Tanjung Batu was 3 square km and Kampung Tanduo was 4 square km. He said the remaining remnants of the armed group were believed to be moving about in pairs or in small units.
"We believed they were trying to avoid security forces by moving between both villages,” he said
Armed Forces chief Jeneral Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said the gunmen managed to slip from Kampung Tanduo to Kampung Tanjung Batu due to the uneven and swampy terrain.
Jen Zulkifeli said the security forces were conducting mopping up operations in Kampung Tanduo.
Asked whether there were still Sulu gunmen in Kampung Tanduo, he said the operations are still ongoing to flush them out and they might be hiding in a bushes and secondary jungle there.
Ismail said the fate of Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, the leader of the armed group, was still unknown.
"There are still bodies in the area that we have not identified," he said.
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