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Thursday, March 7, 2013

9 bodies were from Friday skirmish, says forces chief

Armed Forces chief Gen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin believed that the nine people that were discovered to be buried in Kampung Tanduo were killed during a gun battle with security forces last Friday, and not from yesterday's air-and-ground assault.

"During the chance encounter (with security forces and Filipino intruders) on March 1, there were 12 (that we killed).

"But now we found nine in the hole. We believe there are three more. We are searching.

"They could have been buried or taken away to an area we do not know," he told a press conference at Felda Sahabat Residence this evening.

He said with the additional combatant who was shot dead this morning (right), the total confirmed intruders killed since the Friday skirmish numbered 13.

However, officials are tightlipped on the confirmed kills from the air raid and ground assault yesterday morning.

Prior to Zulkifeli's press conference, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein showed photographs of the dead combatants to the press.

The duo were unable to confirm when exactly the casualties had occurred.

They had also said that the remaining three bodies were found in a grave dug by the intruders. They did not provide photographic evidence of this.

Last Friday, the police's General Operations Force (GOF) clashed with the Filipino intruders when they attempted to breach the cordon around Kampung Tanduo.

Two police commandos were killed while the enemy combatants suffered 12 deaths.

Nigel Aw

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