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Lahad Datu Updates: 1-11 March 2013

Below are updates on Lahad Datu from 1-11 March 2013
 

For the past one month, news portals have been buzzing with news of Lahad Datu. Along with the facts, there are many negative rumours circulating that Malaysia is at war. To clear things up, we have compiled a timeline of activities that has been happening since day one at Lahad Datu. This timeline will be updated as often as possible with facts from various valid news portals in Malaysia.
 

On 1 March, the group of Sulu intruders attempt to break a police blockade in Kampung Tanduo, resulting in a shootout between security forces and a small group of intruders. Two police commandos and 12 members of the group of intruders were killed.

2 March, after the shootout between security forces and the intruders, schools and some shops, banks and other businesses around the town of Lahad Datu were closed.  No curfew had been imposed, but residents were advised to remain indoors as a precautionary measure.

  • Roadblocks were erected in certain areas, but no one was denied entry in Lahad Datu, except for the affected areas.

3 March, eleven schools in the Lahad Datu district were told to close temporarily as a precautionary measure.

On 4 March, a team of police were reportedly checking a seaside settlement area in Semporna, to check if any of the intruders has escaped after the shootout on 1 March.

  • The Malaysian police had called in the Malaysian Armed Forces to assist with military operations on a group of armed Sulu men located at Kampung Tanduo.
  • The police once again dismiss rumours that the situation was in chaos in Lahad Datu.

5/ 6 March, Prime Minister Najib announced that the extended time frame for the Sulu intruders to leave Sabah is over.  

  • “As the head of the government, I have decided that the time to give any consideration to this (crisis) has ended and we need to act with all our might because when it comes to our country’s sovereignty and peace, we will not allow an inch of Malaysia’s land to be at stake or encroached on by anyone,” said Najib to reporters.
  • Malaysian security forces launched a major strike (air and land assault) against the Sulu intruders Both the police and the military forces joined forces to launch two separate attacks, also known as Ops Daulat, against the Sulu intruders, with the deployment of aircraft, armoured vehicles and use of mortars. This move was spurred on by the fact that numerous efforts by the Malaysian and Philippines government to end things peacefully were ignored.
  • Many villagers in areas such as Tanjung Batu and Tanjung Labian evacuated their homes.

9 March, Security forces intensified their operations against the Sulu fighters. The intruders were given an ultimatum, lay down their weapons and surrender, if not, security forces will continue to strike.

  • A number of supporters of the Sulu intruders in Sabah were arrested, and are being investigated under the Security Offenses Special Measures Act 2012 to be read with Section 130 © of the Penal Code, for having possible links with the followers of the Sultan of Sulu.
  • To date, 52 intruders and 8 Malaysian policemen have been killed.

10 March, Home Minister Hishammudin said that situation at Lahad Datu were under control.

  • An eight-man delegation from the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur visited Lahad Datu to retrieve first-hand information on the situation in Felda Sahabat, and also to see the Sulu intruders held in police custody.
  • Elite police teams searched every house in Kampung Simunul for intruders who were in hiding. The team were also on the look-out for firearms that might have been stashed by the Sulu people blending in with the villagers.

11 March, at this point of time, 54 gunmen from Sulu were killed since the first shootout on 1 March, and 97 people have been arrested for investigation because they are believed to have links with the Sulu terrorists.

  • Security forces raided a settlement in Kampung Pinggir Bakau. The leader of the Sulu intruders, identified as Agbimuddin Kiram, the brother of Jamalul Kiram III, was believed to have been hiding in the settlement, but managed to flee the area.

 

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