KOTA KINABALU: Sulu intruders started firing at Malaysian security forces on March 1 after threatening them to get out of “their land” in Kampung Tanduo.
Relating to High Court judge Stephen Chung the events that led to the shooting between the rebels and the Malaysian security forces, elite VAT69 Commando Supt Mancha Laga said he and his team were patrolling the area when they came across about 35 to 40 Sulu gunmen.
“The gunmen, clad in camouflage uniform screamed at us, ‘Tiger, berambus kau dari sini. Ini bumi kami.’ (Tiger, get out of here. This is our land.),” said Supt Mancha, the third prosecution witness in the joint trial of 30 people involved in the Feb 12 occupation of Kampung Tanduo last year.
He did not know why the gunmen referred to them as “tiger”, Supt Mancha told the court, held at a hall designated as an open courtroom at the State Prison Complex in Kepayan here.
He said seconds after the verbal encounter, the Sulu gunmen fired shots. Supt Mancha said two policemen from different teams were killed in the ensuing hour-long skirmish.
One policeman, Kpl Sabaruddin Daud, was from his team, while Insp Zulkifli Mamat, was from another team.
Twelve intruders also died in the encounter. The security forces recovered an M16 and two Garran rifles, a Colt pistol, three grenade launchers as well as bullets and a revolver, among others, from the dead gunmen.
Supt Mancha is expected to continue his testimony today. Earlier yesterday, auxiliary policeman Mohd Ali Asmari said he informed the authorities of the presence of “uniformed” intruders in Sabah’s east coast after he spotted the group slipping into the state while fishing in Kampung Tanduo waters at about 7am on Feb 12.
He said the strangers, clad in faded yellow camouflage uniforms, were spotted near a surau at the beach front.
That was when they saw a group of men in “uniform”, and some with red arm and head bands standing around the area.
The 30 accused are represented by Datuk N. Sivanathan, Kamaruddin Mohmad Chinki, Rowiena Rashid and Abdul Gani Zulika.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail led the prosecution, assisted by four others.
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