Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the names of those who died, have not been released due to security reasons.
He also confirmed that two Sulu armed men were killed in the incident.
The latest incident brings the death toll of Malaysian policemen to seven with the two police commandos who were killed during Friday's attack by Sulu militants near their hideout in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, about 130km from Semporna yesterday.
The five personnel, he said were deployed to conduct a “ground assessment” when they were ambushed.
Security forces returned fire, killing two of the armed men.
Ismail named three areas where security forces were up against foreigners - Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak.
“Police received information of two intruders at two villages, Kampung Lormalong and Kg Dasar Lama.
“10 foreigners with three in camouflage uniforms and arms are currently hiding in a house,” he told the media in Lahad Datu.
In Kampung Tanduo, he said three of the intruders who were attempting to leave the cordoned-off area, had been arrested.
No curfew or travel advisory to Sabah had been imposed, to date.
Ismail advised everyone to stay calm and refrain from spreading rumours.
Only statements from him, Ismail said, should be believed.
Meanwhile, in Semporna,a group of local villagers overpowered a gunman before shooting him dead with his own M16, when the man took them hostage near Kampung Senallang Lama this morning.
About 20 of them fought back and attacked the would-be kidnapper as he forced them to walk towards the hills in the coastal village at about 10am.
Murba Mohd Dahil from Kabogan who was one of the hostages, said they pounced on the man as he forced them to walk up a hill.
One of the witnesses said they duped the big-sized kidnapper by offering him a cigarette, and managed to overpower him when he squatted and placed the gun on his lap.
Budahamin Abdul Hamin, 53, said after giving a signal to the rest of the villagers in the group, they jumped on the man and grabbed the gun away from him.
He said the kidnapper who was a bit elderly, took them hostage by firing several shots earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Ismail said police were investigating whether the armed men were linked to the more than 150 armed intruders in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, about 150 kilometres from Semporna.
Last Friday, two VAT 69 commandos, ASP Zulkifli Mamat, 29, and Sergeant Sabarudin Daud, 46, were killed and three other policemen injured in a shootout with the armed intruders, claiming to be members of the royal army of the Sulu Sultanate in the Philippines, in Kampung Tanduo, 130km from here.
Twelve of the intruders were also killed in the incident.
Ismail said he would name the five policemen later.
In a separate development, he said, police detected another group of 10 men, three of them armed, in Kampung Lomalong and Kampung Dasar Lama, Kunak, about 60 km from here, at about 10 pm yesterday.
We're tracking their movement," he said.
Ismail said the police also detained three of the more than 150 armed intruders who had entrenched themselves in Kampung Tanduo since Feb 9.
"The three men are believed to have attempted to leave the group," he said, declining to provide further details of the arrests.
Part of Kampung Sri Jaya Simunul in Semporna, a village on water where the gun fight between the Sulu militants and Malaysian police took place. -- NSTP/Datu Ruslan Sulai