Sabah police: Don't believe claims of more Sulu fighters
MANILA, Philippines - Here comes another round of contradicting statements over the Sabah situation.
Malaysian police dispelled reports that hundreds of Sulu fighters were preparing to travel to Sabah to serve as reinforcements for the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, state news agency Bernama reported.
Bernama said Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib "reminded" residents not to believe the reports.
The situation in Lahad Datu remained "business as usual," Hamza said, while areas that were previously occupied by the Sabah claimants, such as Kampung Tanjung Batu, Tanjung Labian and Kampung Lok Buani were returning to normal.
On April 9, the spokesperson and a member of the Sultanate of Sulu said at least 400 "volunteers" from Mindanao arrived in Sabah on March 20 and April 5 -- a contingent that is twice larger than the number of Royal Sultanate Force (RSF) members that sailed to Lahad Datu in February.
Two days before the sultanate issued such statements, Malaysian security forces seized a boat carrying 32 armed Filipinos, according to a report by the Agence France-Presse. Malaysian police, however, did not identify the nationalities of the detained individuals.
Malaysian police also held Tuesday at least 32 members of the Liberal Party, whose boat was washed away by strong waves to Sandakan while they were on their way to a campaign sortie in an island in Tawi-Tawi. They were scheduled to be released on Wednesday.
In a separate development, Interaksyon.com reported that Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari has staked his own claim to Sabah and is preparing to make his own move. MNLF members were among the original batch of Sabah claimants that sailed to Lahad Datu.
Sulu Gov Abdusakur Tan, however, denied reports of any Misuari-led "mission" to Sabah, according to Interaksyon.
Nine more people, including two Malaysians, were arrested in Sandakan on Tuesday, April 9 over possible links to the standoff. As of Thursday, April 11, a total of 181 people have been detained under Malaysia's Security Offences Act of 2012 while at least 70 Filipinos have died.
Over 6,600 Filipinos have fled Sabah as of the first week April. - Rappler.com