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Published: Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 7:08:11 AM

Talk of another attack gives Lahad Datu residents the jitters

KOTA KINABALU: Talk of an attack along Sabah’s east coast has once again caused anxiety among residents there, though many said they were confident in the preparedness of the Malaysian security forces.

Lahad Datu-based transport operator Zack Rajak said most of his friends were worried about a possible attack following various TV news reports.

“It is worrying to hear about a possible attack. But since it has been mentioned in the news, that means our security forces would be prepared for any eventuality,” he said.

Eastern Sabah Security Command director Datuk Mohammad Mantek said all entry flanks were being guarded as security forces take up position to thwart any security threat.

Among the various measures taken included the deployment of quick response elite units at strategic locations to intercept any “suspicious” vessels, he said.

However, he said there was no intelligence report of any threat by Abu Sayyaf or independent militant groups of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Mantek said the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the army and police were also on alert for any suspicious activities in the border waters between Sabah and the southern Philippines.

On reports of an imminent attack by militant groups on Pulau Selingan in Sandakan, Pulau Langkayan in Beluran and Sukau Resort in Kinabatangan, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said on Monday that security forces had been told to intensify their readiness against potential attacks by terrorists in three areas in the east coast of Sabah.

Other areas under threat include Kudat, Sandakan, Kunak, Tawau and Lahad Datu.

According to the reports, the Abu Sayyaf terror group or a breakaway MNLF faction of Nur Misuari was planning to carry out attacks or kidnaps.

Saturday’s reports claimed that about 30 armed men had left Talipao village in the Jolo island of southern Philippines and were heading towards Sabah waters.

Their whereabouts were still unconfirmed but the reports claimed that one of the group leaders was identified as Indang Susukan, believed to have been involved in last month’s kidnapping of a Taiwanese couple in Pom-Pom Island, Semporna.

The reports claimed the attacks along the Sabah east coast could happen anytime before Christmas.

Tags / Keywords: Courts & Crime, lahad datu

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