Friday, 3 May 2013

3 skeletons in 'Sulu military uniform' found in Sabah

Three skeletons believed to be those of fallen followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were found in an area of Sabah where the followers clashed with Malaysian security forces in March.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said the skeletons, clad in so-called "Sulu military uniforms" were found in some bushes, Malaysia's The Star Online reported late Friday.

The report said the skeletons were found in the Tanjung Batu area in Lahad Datu.

A separate report on state-run Bernama news agency said Malaysian security forces "stumbled" on the skeletal remains Thursday.

Bernama said the security forces also seized a firearm, several bullets and documents which indicated the deceased were "Sulu terrorists."

Hamza said an initial investigation showed the deceased were either shot dead on March 6, or when the security forces mounted clean-up operations in Kampung Tanjung Batu.

"We have not ruled out the possibility that the three terrorists could have died from injuries while fleeing from security forces," he said.

The Bernama report said this brought to 59 the number of bodies of suspected Kiram followers found by the security forces, while the total number Kiram followers shot dead stands at 73.

Kiram's followers had engaged Malaysian forces in a three-week standoff last February. The standoff ended in deadly clashes last March 1 and 2.

In turn, the deadly clashes prompted Malaysian security forces to conduct offensives against the Kiram followers.

Kiram said he sent his followers to Sabah to reclaim their homeland as efforts to get it back from Malaysia has been relegated to the backburner by the Philippine government.

Meanwhile, Hamza said 31 out of the 184 people arrested under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) have been charged in court

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