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FELDA SAHABAT, LAHAD DATU: A Malaysian soldier was killed in an exchange of fire between security forces and members of the self-styled ‘Sulu royal army’ at Sungai Nyamuk in Lahad Datu Tuesday morning.
Armed Forces chief Gen Zulkifeli Mohd Zain said the security forces accosted five members of the intruders 7.45am Tuesday when they were mopping up the area around Sungai Nyamuk, near Tanjung Batu.
Zulkifeli said the intruders retreated to the upper part of Sungai Nyamuk and the soldiers trailed them.
“The security forces made contact with the intruders about 10.45am at the upper part of Sungai Nyamuk and a second round of fire took place.
“During the gun battle, the security forces killed three terrorists, but unfortunately, a member of the security forces was also killed,” Zulkifli told a press conference later in the afternoon.
This is the first casualty suffered by the Malaysian security forces in Ops Daulat since March 2.
Prior to this, eight policemen had been reported killed, two at Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu on March 1 and six at Kampung Sri Jaya and Kampung Simunul, Semporna on March 3.
To date, a total of nine policemen and soldiers have been killed since the Filipino militants intruded into Kampung Tanduo on Feb 12.
With the three new deaths, 57 armed intruders, including former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) commander Haji Musa, have been shot to death since Feb 12.
Zulkifeli said Kampung Tanduo was now completely free of the threat of the terrorists and security forces had extended their operation to Sungai Nyamuk near Kampung Tanjung Batu.
Meanwhile the raiders who intruded into Malaysia and threatened the lives of the people must face the most severe punishment regardless of their background, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Tuesday.
“We don’t care who they are. If we know that there are intruders or terrorists, then we won’t forgive them. For us, the sovereignty of Malaysia is important.
“For us, the terrorists must be punished with the most severe punishment,” Muhyiddin told a press conference in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Tuesday.
He said this when referring to former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) commander Haji Musa, who was shot dead by Malaysian security forces under the Ops Daulat around Lahad Datu.