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M'sian security forces moving in on Sabah village
Publication Date : 19-02-2013
Malaysian forces are moving in as the armed Sulu group digs in around Kampung Tanduo at Felda Sahabat 17.
The last 24 hours has seen an increase in police, army and naval activities with a 20km radius around the village out of bounds.
Security forces have kept their distance of more than 500m from the armed group and stationed themselves near a kongsi (workers’ quarters), and are keeping watch on the gunmen who at times walk out to a well just 300m from their location to fetch water.
The group in military fatigues headed by Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, a brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, is believed to be occupying a house belonging to a farmer identified as Umrah and his wife who are suffering from gout.
The couple were the only ones who stayed behind while 14 families fled after the group landed on their shores on February 9.
Azzimudie has been communicating with handphone and has been in touch with the Philippine media.
He is believed to be waiting to meet Jamalul in person although his elder brother is said to be undergoing dialysis treatment at a Manila hospital.
According to tweets, most of the members of the Sulu group holed up in Kampung Tanduo were malnourished.
Most of the intruders are old or malnourished, wearing sarongs/slippers..while a few.. have arms, said a tweet.
Meanwhile, journalists have been camping out at the Felda Residence Resort as talk was rife that anything could happen in the next 48 hours.
The entrance of Felda Sahabat 17 remains guarded and security personnel have spread out to strategic locations in the oil palm plantation.