KOTA KINABALU: Two suspected cross-border criminals were shot dead in a shootout with police in waters off Felda Sahabat in Sabah's east coast Lahad Datu at about 11pm on Tuesday (Sept 3).
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah, who did not discount the duo being part of a kidnap-for-ransom group, said the two suspects did not possess any identifications and had yet to be identified.
He said one of the dead suspect was inside the boat, while another was found floating beside the boat following the shootout between Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) special unit and personnel from Lahad Datu police and marine police.
They also recovered a Garand rifle, a magazine, two bullets and spent shell from the pump boat.
Comm Omar said that Esscom teamed together with marine and Lahad Datu police were on patrol when they spotted two boats in Felda waters.
"They immediately switched on the police boat's blue lights and sounded the siren but one of the suspects from the boat fired a shot at the police party.
"They immediately returned fire, as one of the two boats fled towards Philippine waters," he said.
He added that investigations were in progress to identify the suspects as the shooting incident came in the wake of mixed intelligence signals stating that Abu Sayyaf-linked, kidnap-for-ransom groups had left Jolo and were searching for targets in Sabah.
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