LAHAD DATU: Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) denied the allegation of a ‘white flag’ as the cause of Tanduo intrusion on 1 March two years ago.
ESSCOM Commander, Datuk Abd. Rashid Harun, said the misconception needs to be clarified as what occurred during the intrusion was the security forces were defending themselves after the Sulu militants opened fire.
“Facts or stories regarding on the ‘white flag’ are untrue and not the works of our security forces as the Sulu militants were the first to shoot after they detected our security personnels,” he told reporters in ESSCOM programme with the media in Tanduo, here yesterday.
Also present was ESSCOM Executive Chief Officer, Ruji Ubi.
According to him, the fact needs to be clarified as it will affect not only the security forces involved in the incident but also all VAT69 teams, as if it is revealing the weaknesses of the national security forces for not using a tactical strategy during the incident.
He added that each security teams have their own tactical strategies, regardless of non-elite or elite teams.
“The militants at the time may have thought that it was a small group of soldiers; instead they were divided into several groups and sharpshooters were also deployed in several locations. Two personnels were killed at the frontline and we need to hold firm on this fact to clarify the true story,” he added.
Previously, rumours about the Sulu militants feinted their surrender by hoisting a white flag, causing the two security personnels to be killed by the enemies when they approached the militants.
Abd Rashid also explained that the security forces have utilized all their assets for land, water, and air tactics, rebuking rumours of them being limited with water and land assets.
He said, the true fact about the intrusion has also been briefed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak.
In the incident on 1 March two years ago, Tanduo was attacked by militants from Southern Phillippine claiming to be Sulu Sultanate armies, where they opened fire and killed a VAT69 member.
During the intrusion two security personnels died for defending the country’s sovereignty. They are allahyarham Assistant Superintendent Zulkifli Mamat, and Sarjan Sabarudin Daud.
Three more were injured and the militants lose 68 of its members during the fight. – SayangSabah