LAHAD DATU: Security forces patrolling the waters off Sungai Bilis, here, were involved in a gunfight with three Sulu intruders early yesterday.
No one was wounded in the incident which occurred at about 7.30am but the security forces found a pistol, ammunition and a machete in the mangrove swamp nearby where the gunmen escaped.
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said the gunmen were on the beach and on seeing the police boat, they opened fire.
A shootout ensued and the gunmen retreated into a mangrove swamp.
Security forces nearby then gave chase but lost the gunmen. They, however, found the weapons.
Hamza said Sungai Bilis was close to Tanjung Batu where several of the intruders are still believed to be lurking.
“Sweeping and mopping up operations are still continuing in Tanjung Batu and after we have cleared the area, we will move to nearby villages such as Tanjung Labian, Kampung Tanagian and Sungai Bilis,” he told reporters at the media centre in Felda Residence Sahabat, yesterday.
Hamza added that a meeting would be held soon with the National Security Council, district office and community leaders to discuss the relocation of displaced villagers.
Although Kampung Tanduo had been declared free of the intruders, he said the villagers from that coastal village would be placed in another area nearby.
“All villagers would be relocated to a suitable location with the help of Felda and this will also include those from Tanjung Batu,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamza said the boy who was injured during the shootout in Tanjung Batu on Sunday, was in a stable condition at the intensive care unit of the Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan.
On Sunday, a soldier was injured in the shootout with two armed men in Tanjung Batu where security forces were sweeping the no-entry zone for intruders.
Security forces discovered the injured boy and the bodies of a man, a woman and two children – a girl and a boy – in a house at the coastal village where the shootout occurred. Police believed that the victims were foreigners. (NST)