KOTA KINABALU: Five suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were shot dead by police at a squatter settlement at a mangrove swamp in Beaufort district, on Monday (May 17).
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said those killed were aged between 20 and 50.
He said one of the suspects had opened fire on police who had entered the area at about 11am.
The police, he said, returned fire and all the suspects were killed.
“Two of them - Mabar Binda (sub leader) and Jurakhdam Binda - are actually in the Philippines’ police wanted list,” he said.
He added that police believed they had crippled a terrorist cell established by ASG members in Sabah.
Hazani said the police had gone to the area after three identified ASG members escaped an initial raid on May 8.
During the earlier operation, 37 people including eight ASG members were arrested.
He said the squatter colony where these suspects lived in, will be destroyed.
Police are working with other security officials to check if there are any other AGS cells in Sabah.