Bloody Borneo standoff village cleared: Malaysia
AFPKUALA LUMPUR--Malaysian police said Monday they had cleared a remote village at the heart of a monthlong incursion by Filipino Islamists as another gunman was killed, raising the toll in the crisis to 63.
March 12, 2013, 12:19 am TWN
But the remaining followers of a self-styled Philippine Sultan were still being hunted in a neighboring village and surrounding farmland a week after Malaysia sent in the army to root them out.
The armed group landed on the coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island early last month in a bizarre bid to assert the “sultan's” historical claim to the areas.
Surrounded by security forces, they dug in for a standoff in the sleepy village of Tanduo amid vast palm oil plantations until a deadly shootout prompted a military attack that scattered the militants.
Sabah state police chief Hamza Taib said security forces had now secured Tanduo but were pursuing the remaining fighters in the village of Tanjung Batu and surrounding areas.
He added that another gunman was shot in Tanjung Batu on Sunday, bringing to 54 the number of militants killed in Malaysia's worst security crisis in years.