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MALAYSIA DEPLOYS MORE TROOPS
SEMPORNA, Malaysia: Terrified Malaysians fled a town where dead gunmen lay in the streets on Monday as authorities ramped up security to combat a bizarre invasion by Philippine followers of a self-styled sultan.
Twenty-seven people have been reported killed after two deadly shootouts in the state of Sabah on Borneo island where militants landed on February 12, claiming the state for the heir to a former Philippine sultanate. Read more in THE MANILA TIMES.net ONLINE
Malaysian troops sent to Borneo after police slain
Malaysia sent hundreds of soldiers to a Borneo state Monday to help neutralize armed Filipino intruders who have killed 8 police officers in the country’s bloodiest security emergency in years.
Nineteen Filipino gunmen have also been slain since Friday in skirmishes that shocked Malaysians unaccustomed to such violence in their country, which borders insurgency-plagued southern provinces in the Philippines and Thailand.
The main group of intruders comprises nearly 200 members of a Philippine Muslim clan, some bearing rifles, who slipped past naval patrols last month, landed at a remote Malaysian coastal village in eastern Sabah state’s Lahad Datu district and insisted the territory was theirs. Read more in THE JAKARTA POST ONLINE
Aquino Smells Conspiracy
MANILA, Philippines March 5— President Benigno S. Aquino III yesterday warned that those who conspired to lead the Sabah standoff, including those from the past administration, will be held accountable and be dealt with the full force of the law.
He issued the warning in a press briefing late yesterday afternoon on the continuing standoff in Sabah between Malaysian authorities and the “royal army” of the Sultanate of Sulu.
“Sa mga taong nasa likod nito, ngayon pa lang sinasabi ko sa inyo, hindi kayo magtatagumpay. Pananagutin natin ang nagkasala sa bansa,” he said.
“The Constitution sanctions any armed force besides the AFP. Is there not a provision against private armed groups? They are obviously, by any definition, an armed group,” Aquino said. Read more in MANILA BULLETIN ONLINE
5 police, 2 assailants killed amid Malaysian siege
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) March 04 – Gunmen ambushed and killed five Malaysian policemen as fears mounted that armed intruders from the southern Philippines had slipped into at least three coastal districts on Borneo island, officials said Sunday.
Two of the attackers were also fatally shot Saturday night, escalating tensions in eastern Sabah state, where Malaysia’s biggest security crisis in recent years began after about 200 members of a Philippine Muslim royal clan occupied a village last month to claim the territory as their own.
Security forces clashed with the clan members in the coastal area of Lahad Datu on Friday, leaving 12 Filipinos and two Malaysian police commandos dead.
The remaining clan members have refused to budge, while concerns have grown that other groups from the Philippines’ restive southern provinces might enter Sabah, which shares a long and porous sea border with the Philippines that’s difficult to patrol. Read more in BORNEO BULLETIN ONLINE
Malaysia boosts Sabah security after Lahad Datu clashes
Malaysia is boosting security in Sabah state amid an increasingly tense confrontation with a group from the Philippines occupying a village there.
Nearly 200 Filipinos landed by boat in Lahad Datu last month, saying the land belongs to their sultan.
The initially peaceful stand-off erupted on Friday in clashes which left eight policemen and 19 Filipinos dead.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino has called for calm and has sent his foreign minister to Malaysia. BBC NEWS ASIA ONLINE
IT was so well planned that they managed to fool everybody — even our security and intelligence units.
Sending decoys and coming in batches, the invaders of Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu also had help from their brethren who were already living and working in Lahad Datu.
High-placed sources tell The Malay Mail that the 189 militia said to be representing the Sultan of Sulu had started arriving in batches to Felda Sahabat 17 between Feb 3 and Feb 11.
As a decoy, some of them were elderly men and women, but they were armed with automatic weapons and with handguns provided by locals — a plan that fooled the authorities here, who even went as far as labelling them a “bunch of old men with rusty rifles”. Read more in THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE