KOTA KINABALU: A police officer testified that there were three skirmishes between Malaysian security forces and Sulu gunmen at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu on March 1 last year.
VAT 69 commando Insp Che Hasdi Che Hussin recalled the day when he and his colleagues and their leader, Deputy Supt Hake-mal Hawari, were at an area in Tanduo when they suddenly heard gunshots.
“I was carrying out a close reconnaissance operation when I heard the gunshots coming from ahead, near areas categorised as Sector B, C and D at about 10am on March 1,” he said before High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung at the trial of 30 people involved in various offences linked to the Lahad Datu intrusion in February last year.
Insp Che Hasdi said he and the team ran towards the area where the shots were heard, but they split up due to the terrain.
He said not long after that, there were gunshots in other areas on his left. It was where a group of snipers were keeping watch and on his right where the other team members were positioned, he added.
“So, there were three areas involved in skirmishes on that day,” he added.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mohktar what happened next, Insp Che Hasdi said he and three other commandos ran to a hilly open area where there were palm trees.
“We took cover behind the trees while waiting for our teammates to regroup,” he said.
“We only left for a rumah kongsi (worker’s quarters), which was turned into a General Operations Force checkpoint after receiving instructions at about 4pm on March 2,” he said.
He said they remained at the checkpoint for three days, until March 4.
The trial continues today.