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Malaysians shocked by police mutilations in Sabah

Malaysians shocked by police mutilations in Sabah
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians were shocked and disgusted as police — for the first time — officially confirmed that the members of the security forces killed in a prolonged stand-off in the Kampung Sri Jaya Siminul in Semporna were badly mutilated.

In a Facebook posting late last night, police related in greater detail the sequence of events following an ambush by the Sulu ‘sultanate’ intruders on March 2 at Kampung Simunul.

One Norhaidar Hashim commented: ”they dont respect the dead nor the living” while Veronica Amy Ba'et expressed sadness of the cruel methods employed:“Kejam sungguh.(so cruel) i thought the news pertaining ‘mutilated’[sic] was not true."

Putra Yussoef said: “They mutilated the police in Sempoerna? Kill those terrorist and extradite the Head terrorist from the Philipines!!!”

Another commentator Emma Ahmad Tanjizi remarked that it was prudent for news of the mutilations to be delayed as it would have broken morale if disseminated earlier.

“If news of the mutilations was spread earlier, it would be the end, the Sabah people would panic... that’s the tactic of our enemies to break the morale of our army and police,” Emma wrote in Malay.

What happened in Kg Sri Jaya Siminul?

In the incident, police revealed that they had to dispatch a rescue team to the village a day later to save the injured and retrieve their dead colleagues following the deadly ambush.
A police team, believed to be numbered about 60, had first went to Kampung Sri Jaya Siminul to investigate reports on the presence of arms at the village.

"Upon arrival at Kampung Simunul, the police party was ambushed by the intruders. Six police personnel sacrificed their lives while two others were injured. Six armed intruders were killed by the police.

"The police despatched a rescue team to retrieve the bodies of our fallen heroes and rescued personnel who were trapped in Kampung Simunul, Semporna. The team successfully executed the mission.

"The bodies of dead police personnel were found to have been brutally mutilated by the armed intruders," wrote the posting.

The six fallen policemen were Supt Ibrahim Lebar, ASP Michael Padel, Sergeant Baharin Hamit, Sergeant Abdul Aziz Sarikon, Koperal Salam Togiran and Lans Korporal Mohd Azrul Tukiran.

Prior to this, news of the brutal killings had already spread among villagers and were picked up by the media, but Inspector-general of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar had refused to confirm such reports.

Sources said that at least one of the policemen was beheaded and that another was eviscerated. There were also unconfirmed reports that the eyes of one was gouged out.

Meanwhile, The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that it would need to validate reports that there were "mutilations" and "desecration" of bodies.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, according to a spokseperson, agreed that such acts would be considered terroristic acts, but clarified that it has not labelled them "terrorists".

The police chronology of events:

Feb 12, 2013 - Armed intrusion at Lahad Datu where about 150 armed persons in army fatigues intrude into Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu. Police cordon the area and order the group to lay down their arms and surrender.

Feb 14 to Feb 28 - Negotiations were conducted where intruders, identified to be from the southern Philippines, claimed to be linked to the so-called ‘Sulu Sultanate'.

There were several rounds of negotiations between the intruders and police to avoid bloodshed.
The deadline for the intruders to leave peacefully on Feb 24 passed but negotiations continued to allow them to retreat.

March 1 - Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu shooting incident that resulted in the first two Malaysian casualties due to a mortar attack. Twelve armed intruders were shot dead by police.
Police drop leaflets from a helicopter, ordering the armed intruders holed up in Kampung Tanduo to surrender.

PM Najib warns the invaders to surrender, failing which the authorities would take action. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III urges the intruders to surrender unconditionally.

March 2 - The shooting incident in Kampung Simunul in Semporna where six police officers died and another six intruders (photo) were killed.

Another armed intruder, identified by the villagers as an imam, was also killed in Kampung Sinalang Lama by villagers after he tried to take them hostage.

March 3 - Police rescue those trapped and retrieve the bodies of the dead.

March 4 - Military reinforcement arrived where seven army battalions were deployed to Sabah. Kampung Tanjung Batu and Kampung Tanjung Labian were declared "red zones" following reports of gunmen landing there.

The intruders labeled as "terrorists" after a meeting between the Malaysian foreign minister and the Philippine secretary in Kuala Lumpur. [This was disputed by Manila].

March 5 - Joint action by security forces. Najib says the security forces have launched ‘Ops Daulat' to end the standoff with the terrorists in Kampung Tanduo to defend the dignity and sovereignty of the country. Mopping and searching operation followed suit to clear and secure the area.

March 6 - One armed terrorist shot dead while trying to ambush Malaysian national security forces. Area of operation is expanded. Security situation much under control.