GUA MUSANG (Bernama): The police have found human skeletal remains believed to be of a person from the Bateq tribe approximately seven kilometres from Ladang Aring 10 here at 4.30pm Wednesday (June 12).
Kelantan police chief Datuk Hasanuddin Hassan said some of the bones were found scattered on the ground and more on a tree.
"For now, the police will not bring out the bones but instead mark the place as the first location where human remains were found," he told a press conference on Wednesday (June 12).
Prior to this, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad was reported saying that his ministry would try to locate the remains of 12 villagers with the help of other government agencies to determine their cause of death.
The Bateq villagers are said to have died under mysterious circumstances
It has been reported that 13 Bateq tribesmen have died from an illness that is yet to be conclusively determined.
Hasanuddin said the operation to find the location of the graves or where their bodies were interred involved more that 30 General Operations Force personnel with the assistance of local Orang Asli settlers.
The search ended at 5.30pm and the operation will resume Thursday morning.
He said three groups were mobilised in the operation assisted by the Forensic Unit, the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) and some other agencies.
"As for carrying the skeletal remains, the forensic unit will decide as the main focus now is to locate other graves," he said.
Meanwhile, Hasanuddin said Kampung Kuala Koh has been declared as a Red Zone, adding that the entrance to the village would be closed until the operation and investigations were completed.
"Except for the operations team, the media and civilian personnel are not allowed to enter the village," he said, adding that this includes personnel from non-governmental organisations
However, he said for farm workers entering and leaving the plantation near the village, it would depend on the plantation's management. – Bernama