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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Police: No curfew in Lahad Datu

Police airdropped messengers in English and Suluk calling for the intruders to surrender.
LAHAD DATU: The police today airdropped from a helicopter leaflets ordering the surrender of about 100 armed intruders holed up in a village in Sabah whose encounter with the police yesterday resulted in 14 deaths. Two of those killed were Malaysian police commandos.
Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib said the leaflets carried the order in English and Suluk.
The messages read: “Warning. Lay down your arms. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender.”
Hamza also said that the police were collaborating with the army to resolve the matter.
He advised the people not to speculate on the number of security forces’ personnel who were killed or injured in the gun battle yesterday, and said that no curfew had been imposed in the area.
“I have to make this clear because there have been announcements of a curfew in social websites and blogs.
“I am in charge of issuing the order for a curfew. I have not issued any order following yesterday’s incident,” he said.
Lahad Datu has been a ghost town following yesterday morning’s shootout between security forces and the armed intruders who declared themselves as the royal Sulu army.
Following the shootout, all shops, banks and schools in Lahad Datu were reportedly ordered to be shutdown.
A flurry of text messages also went around urging people to stay indoors and off the streets.
Bernama reported that many business premises in Lahad Datu remained closed following the incident yesterday, with only a small number of shops and restaurants open for business.
A check showed that not many people were in the town even though it was the weekend, and there were fewer vehicles than normal on the roads.
A resident of Silam, Mohd Nizame Enchek, 27, said he was shocked to find Lahad Datu town almost deserted and many shops closed.
It was the same story at Bandar Cenderawasih in Felda Sahabat 17, with a few shops and a restaurant open for business at the request of the security forces.
Both Lahad Datu and neighbouring Semporna, where thousands of Filipinos reside is still under tight security.

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