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Published: Tuesday February 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:02:07 PM

Hishammuddin: M'sia wants to end stand-off with Sulu gunmen without bloodshed (Updated)

Hishammuddin examining  a rifle used by security personnel while visiting Tanduo village in Felda Sahabat. With him are Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib (left) and  Datuk Salleh Mat Rasit (right). Starpix by AZHAR MAHFOF.

Hishammuddin examining a rifle used by security personnel while visiting Tanduo village in Felda Sahabat. With him are Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib (left) and Datuk Salleh Mat Rasit (right). Starpix by AZHAR MAHFOF.

LAHAD DATU: Malaysian authorities are still keeping their options open in resolving a stand-off with the armed Sulu group holed up at the isolated Kampung Tanduo coastal village at Felda Sahabat 17 near here.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said Malaysia was doing everything possible to ensure that stand-off, now entering its second week, was settled without bloodshed.

He said Malaysia would, however, not compromise the nation's sovereignty and security.

"I hope they don't push us," he said Tuesday after flying into the Felda Sahabat area where he was updated by top police officials.

"We have to do the right thing at the right time. And if we have to make a decision, we are on top of it," Hishammuddin added.

The group, numbering some 100 people and reportedly headed by Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, the brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, is demanding to meet certain "personalities" as negotiations have dragged on.

Members of the group were believed to be wielding M16, M14 and Baby Armalite assault weapons and M203 grenade launchers although Sultan Jamalul claimed that they had arrived in Sabah's east coast unarmed and would be staying put because Sabah was their "homeland".

The group, including five women, had earlier demanded recognition as the Royal Sultanate of Sulu Army, calling for the Suluk community, which had been in Sabah for a long time, not to be deported.

Since Feb 9, they have been living off the produce of 15 farming families who fled Kampung Tanduo.

Related Stories: Malaysian security forces moving in on village No compromise with gunmen Sulu gunmen agree to return home Sulu sultan says followers won't leave Lahad Datu Praying for quick end to Lahad Datu standoff Sulu Sultan called in to help Gunmen want recognition, will only leave if demands are met Group claims royal Sulu ties, says IGP

Tags / Keywords: Nation, News, Government, World, Sulu, Sabah

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