Operation to end the intrusion by terrorists in Sabah

“This is do or die,” Agbimuddin was reported to have told the Philippine radio station Radyo Inquirer yesterday morning.

“I believe we are right (and) this place belongs to us. We will stay,” he added dealing a blow to hopes for a quick end to the impasse.

A Wisma Putra spokesman, meanwhile, told The Borneo Post that Lahad Datu standoff was now in the hands of the National Security Council which had tasked the job to the police.

In Lahad Datu, the police said they had ended the negotiation with the intruders and were waiting for a suitable time to take action against the armed group who claimed to be the Royal Sulu Army holed in Kampung Tanduo.

Sabah Police Commissioner, Datuk Hamza Taib told a press conference in Lahad Datu yesterday that there would be no more negotiation with the group.

“We will make some research and consider several factors such as reviewing the areas before taking any action. This group is not small so the study needs to be made before taking action.

“We will take any action necessary including charging them at the court. We will try to avoid bloodshed but if there is, we will try to minimise it as much as possible,” said Hamza.

He also urged the people not to be worried as the situation was under control and the police would not compromise on the people’s safety.

Hamza had also denied a report by a news portal about the death of two members of the group due to internal conflicts.

He disclosed that there were gunshots heard but it was yet to be confirmed they were from the area.

“The gunshots might be fired on animals for their food as they are believed to be short of food and water. But I confirm that the gunshots were not fired by our security forces,” stressed Hamza.

On a related issue, Hamza also confirmed that the police had arrested four foreigners in the Ladang Tungku area about 4am yesterday.

“They were arrested for not having any documents but investigation is still on-going to confirm if they were involved with the group or not,” said Hamza, adding that the four men were not carrying any weapons.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Government has made available a ship to ferry the group led by Raja Muda Agmibuddin Kiram back to their homeland.

“We urge the group to take this opportunity to head home, for the sake of the women and unarmed civilians with them and for their own safety.

“Once back home, the issues that they have raised can be discussed and addressed,” said the Philippines Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya to The Borneo Post here yesterday.

He stressed that the Filipino people, whether Christians, Muslims or Lumad (indigenous people), have toiled hard to attain peace and economic development in Mindanao, which the people of the Bangsamoro have long deserved.

“The peace process being pursued by President Benigno S. Aquino III is both comprehensive and inclusive. There is a place for everyone at the table, notably the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu,” he explained.

Malaya pointed out that both the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front )MILF), representing the Muslim communities, had moved the Mindanao Peace Process significantly forward, with the facilitation of the Malaysian Government.

The visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Manila on the occasion of the signing of the Framework Agreement in October last year upon the invitation of President Aquino, was indicative of the personal commitment made by both leaders to the successful implementation of the peace pact.

“With much momentum gained, this is the time to move forward and not backward,” stressed Malaya.

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