Army begins mopping-up operation

According to residents living close by, they heard the sound of jets just before the explosions.

(FMT) – LAHAD DATU: Malaysian forces are reportedly conducting a mopping-up operation after they launched a dawn assault on the armed group of Filipinos who killed eight policemen over the weekend.

The assault at Kampung Tanduo was preceded by the sound of bombs exploding and the sound of jets roaring overhead.

Even as the offensive was going on, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar told a news conference here today that the police and army have achieved their objective in the operation code-named “Ops Sulu”.

Also present was Chief of Defence Forces Jeneral Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.

Ismail confirmed that the security forces launched the offensive against the intruders whom he referred to as terrorists and were met with return fire. He said there were no casualities.

He said there was no civilians in the area of operation when the offensive was launched.
Government officials announced that the operation to retake Kampung Taduo, an area taken over by about 200 members of the Royal Army of Sulu claiming allegiance to Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, took place at 7am.

According to residents living close by, they heard the sound of jets just before the explosions. Many of them are reported to be fleeing the area.

Kampung Tanduo is bracketed by two other seaside villages a few kilometres away and most of the villagers residing there have abandoned their homes and can be seen on the highway between Kampung Tanduo and here.

Artillery rounds were heard pounding the area before soldiers went in and the sound of shooting erupted. There has been no sound of fighting since 10am.

The sea fronting Kampung Tanduo is reportedly clear of any vessels.

Police units were seen rushing towards Tungku area at around 10am and troop movement was seen Cenderawasih in Sahabat 7.

Unemployed MNLF insurgents?

Felda Sahabat is said to about twice the size of Singapore. Plantation workers in the area have been told to stop work and move out as security forces spread out around the rows of oil palm trees in the plantations surrounding Kampung Tanduo.

Some of the workers said they have been unable to get out of the vicinity because of the cordon that has been thrown around the area.