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LAHAD DATU: Malaysian security forces have discovered more bodies during sweeping and mopping up operations in Kampung Tanduo.
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib was informed there were 15 bodies at the operation area.
"Initially our forensic and crime investigation department team had found nine bodies but I've instructed my men to go to the area this morning to confirm the figure as we believe there are more than nine bodies.
"These are the Sulu gunmen shot on March 1. Earlier we confirmed that 12 were gunned down but yesterday, we were told there are 15 decomposed bodies. There could be more," he told media during a press conference.
Hamza added that Malaysian security forces were unable to retrieve the bodies as they had been highly decomposed. Bodies of the Sulu gunmen remained in Kampung Tanduo.
On a new development, he added that security forces had picked up another body of a gunman from Tanjung Batu, yesterday afternoon.
As of Monday morning, security forces brought out 16 bodies from Tanjung Batu and two bodies from Kampung Tanduo. All bodies were sent to Lahad Datu Hospital for post-mortem.
One of the bodies has been identified as General Haji Musa, who was one of the armed group leaders who fled from Tanduo to Tanjung Batu.
"We are still focusing on Tanjung Batu and Sungai Bilis and we are in the effort to bring out bodies from Tanjung Batu.
"We hope to clear it as soon as possible to restore the situation in Tanjung Batu," added Hamza.
Towards the end, he advised public to cooperate with the police and provide information in connection with the Sulu armed group.
"We want the people to work hand in hand with us and provide information so we can solve this matter together."