Malaysian security forces have moved out as an operation is launched to flush out the remaining group of armed Sulu gunmen. For three weeks long, the Filipino intruders were engaged in a deadly stand-off. Since then, a total of 27 people have been reported killed from the day the militants landed on 12th February 2013 in Sabah, East Malaysia.

It is said to be Malaysia’s worst security crisis in years.

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Early this morning, fighter jets began screaming low over the armed group cornered at the Tanduo village. The group has been holed up there since early February. Continuous explosions were heard as the police and army move in against the gunmen who have reportedly fired back.

More than 300 villagers remain huddled in a Tanjung Labian community hall amidst all the artillery fire and explosions. The villagers are asking for food as most of them haven’t eaten since Monday night.

Many ambulances have been despatched from Tawau. Military trucks were also seen going in whereas elite military and police squads were also on the ground and believed to be involved in the shootouts with the gunmen.

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Inspector-General of Police (IGP) says no casualties among Malaysian troops in the offensive against Sulu “terrorists”. Meanwhile, mopping up operations is still ongoing and Malaysian security forces are checking from house to house. Enemy casualties are still unknown for now.

More to come as the story unfolds.

Sources: CNA, The Star.

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