LAHAD DATU: Five policemen were killed when they were ambushed at a village on stilts in the east coast town of Semporna late Saturday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said.
He said this was among the three “situations” in Sabah being handled by police, adding that in the Semporna attack, a police team had entered Kampung Sri Jaya within the seaside Semunul settlement to hunt for a group of armed gunmen when they were fired upon.
He said two of the gunmen were killed in the shootout with the police team. Police have encircled the village to track down the remaining gunmen, he added.
Ismail said security forces were on the hunt for 10 men, three of whom were armed and seen wearing military fatigues at two villages in the east-coast district of Kunak at about 10pm on Saturday.
He said the intruders were spotted at Kampung Lormalong and Kampung Dasar Lama and police had mounted a manhunt to track them down.
Ismail said police were trying to establish if the Semporna and Kunak incidents were connected to the stand-off at Kampung Tanduo at the Felda Sahabat area where more than 100 armed Sulu gunmen have been holed up for about three weeks.
Ismail said police had arrested three men who were trying to slip through a security cordon around Kampung Tanduo late Saturday as well.
He said the three who were armed with a knife had been detained for further questioning.