Wednesday, March 6, 2013
50 Pinoys flee Sabah, land in Tawi-Tawi
Evacuees take refuge in boats as clashes erupt anew in Sabah. Sabahans and Filipinos from Simunul and Semporna take refuge in boats on Monday after clashes erupted anew in Semporna on Saturday. At least 27 Malaysians and Filipinos were reported killed in the clashes as fears mounted that violence linked to a deadly standoff with the armed followers of Sulu Sultan Kiram had escalated to other areas. Maki Pulido
At least 50 Filipinos fleeing the conflict in Sabah between followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and Malaysian security forces arrived in Mindanao by boat Tuesday.
The Filipinos, who included women and the elderly, fled their homes for fear of getting caught in the fighting, radio dzBB reported Tuesday night.
The report said the vessel carrying the Filipinos docked at Tawi-Tawi at 11 a.m.
Many of the returnees said many more Filipinos in Sabah wanted to return home but were unable to because Malaysia had tightened security at its borders.
Earlier, Malaysian security forces tightened security to prevent Kiram's followers from escaping, following deadly clashes in Sabah last March 1 and 2.
Last Friday's clash followed a three-week standoff at Lahad Datu in Sabah. On Tuesday, Malaysian forces staged an air assault on the area.
A separate report on GMA News TV program "QRT" said the returning Filipinos endured an 18-hour trip. The report said at least one suffered from dehydration.
It added the captain of the ship decided to ferry them to the Philippines because he took pity on them (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/154142/qrt/mahigit-50-pinoy-mula-sabah-bumalik-sa-tawi-tawi-sa-takot-maipit-sa-gulo).
Some of the passengers said they got past the border patrols by paying bribes. — DVM, GMA News
Posted by wikisabah at 3:56:00 AM