Sulu army gets reinforcements? 

(FMT) – Armed men had allegedly slipped through the Malaysian and Philippine naval cordon and joined Kiram’s rebels, claims the sultan’s spokesperson.

Some 100 heavily armed men have joined the followers of Agbimuddin Kiram in Sabah to continue fighting Malaysian forces in Lahad Datu, sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani (photo) said yesterday.

Idjirani said Agbimuddin, brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III called him up to report that some heavily armed civilians have joined the fighting in Sabah.

Idjirani said the civilians managed to slip through the sea blockade of the Malaysian and Philippine navy forces in going to Sabah.

“(Agbimuddin) called me about the arrival of civilians with arms who have joined the royal security forces,” Idjirani said, according to The Philippine Star.

It was not known where the armed civilians came from but sources said some are Tausugs from various parts of Mindanao who arrived in small groups to avoid the Malaysian and Philippine naval blockade at the Sulu Sea.

Idjirani also reported that relatives of Kiram who are long-time residents of Sabah went into hiding after Malaysian police began its crackdown on suspected supporters of the sultan’s army.

“The relatives of sultan are now living in fear and have gone into hiding,” he said.

Last Thursday, Philippine embassy officials in Kuala Lumpur were allowed to visit eight men facing charges for terrorism-related violence for their involvement in the Sabah incident.

Philippine Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Eduardo Malaya, in a statement, identified the eight as Atik Hussin Bin Abu Bakar, Basad H. Manuel, Habil Bin Suhali, Holland Bin Kalbi, Thimhar Hadil Sultan, Lin Bin Mad Salleh, Kadir Bin Uyung and Lating Bin Tiong.

Malaya did not say if the eight, detained at the prison facility in Tawau, are Filipinos. The Sulu sultanate had earlier said the eight are Malaysians. 

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