A Malaysian soldier and three Filipino gunmen were killed in the latest clash over a Philippine Muslim clan’s incursion into Borneo, Malaysia’s army chief Zulkifeli Zin has said.
Security forces have waged several gun battles since March 1 against about 200 Filipinos who began occupying a coastal village last month to revive a long-dormant territorial claim to Malaysia’s eastern Sabah State in Borneo. Air strikes and mortar attacks drove the Filipinos out of the village last week, but many are believed to be hiding in nearby palm oil plantations.
The armed forces chief said a fire fight left one soldier and three Filipinos dead on Tuesday morning.
Malaysian authorities have reported nearly 60 Filipino casualties and eight police deaths in Sabah this month. Authorities say the clansmen must surrender unconditionally and face prosecution.