Sulu sultanate denies Malaysia has stopped pursuing fighters
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2013 - 2:33pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Sultanate of Sulu on Monday branded as propaganda the announcement made by the Malaysian government that it has stopped operations against the sultanate’s royal security force (RSF) fighters who are still holed-up in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

Abraham Idjirani, the sultanate’s spokesperson added that Malaysia is simply moving its forces away from the jungles of Lahad Datu to prepare for a possible spillover of clashes into populated areas.

Musa Aman, Sabah chief minister, was quoted on Sunday by the Malaysian newspaper, The Star Online, as saying that operations to chase the RSF fighters and their supporters have stopped.

However, Aman said a security zone with permanent stationed troops has been set-up along the coastline where the RSF fighters had earlier landed.

“Why are they (Malaysian security forces) strengthening their security zone? Is it to defend Lahad Datu and the other districts from attack? Or are they afraid that the clashes will no longer happen inside the jungles of Lahad Datu?” said Idjirani.

Idjirani said he has spoken with Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram at around 9 a.m. The younger brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram said they will not abandon their position, the sultanate spokesman added.

Last June 18, Agbimuddin reported a clash between some 400 fighters and volunteers in the RSF and Malaysian security forces in Kampung Dengan Tungku in Lahad Datu.

Agbimuddin reported that the RSF fighters were moving through Dengan Tungku at about 1 p.m. when they encountered the Malaysian troops.

Idjirani said the clash in Dengan Tungku was also confirmed by Hajib Mujaha Hashim, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front's Islamic Command Council.

ABRAHAM IDJIRANI AGBIMUDDIN DENGAN TUNGKU HAJIB MUJAHA HASHIM IDJIRANI ISLAMIC COMMAND COUNCIL KAMPUNG DENGAN TUNGKU LAHAD DATU LAST JUNE MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT MUSA AMAN
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