KOTA KINABALU: Intruders kept out of sight for nearly three weeks after a shootout with security forces in Tanduo last year but soldiers managed to track down some of them in a neighbouring village.
Major Mohd Afandi Yusuf, who is a soldier from the 3rd battalion Royal Malay Regiment based at the Fifth Infantry Brigade in Lok Kawi, said he and his team entered Tanjung Labian, about 4km away from Kampung Tanduo, for a mopping up operation on March 6 last year and killed one of the intruders on March 20.
“We killed a man while on duty (to flush out intruders in Kampung Tanjung Labian) after my colleague saw some men clad in civilian clothes about 50m ahead of us,” he said before High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung yesterday.
Afandi said he noticed one of them was armed with a machete but he could not see clearly what the other men were carrying as they were moving quickly in the direction of his team.
“A soldier from my team shouted musuh (enemy) when we were about 30m apart. Within seconds, we were fired at from the front,” he said, adding that he immediately instructed his men to retaliate.
He said he saw the man carrying the machete fall to the ground while the others started to retreat but they continued firing at the soldiers.
Afandi, the first soldier and the 23rd prosecution witness to testify in the trial of 30 people involved in the Lahad Datu and Semporna intrusion in February and March last year, told the court that he and his team had stayed on in that area after the incident.
They only left the area on March 26, he added.
Later during cross-examination by defence counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan, Afandi told the court that he and his teammates did not seize anything from the dead man, as they did not receive any instruction to do so.
He said there was only a bag filled with clothing and food beside the dead man when the soldiers went to check.
The body, he said, was taken away by his superior Lt-Kol Adi Riduan Abdullah later.
Asked by Sivananthan on whether he was briefed about what to do or whether to give warnings or a chance to surrender if they encountered any intruder, Afandi said no.
He said there were no more shootouts or encounters with any intruder after the March 20 incident.
The trial continues today.