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6 suspects detained

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TIP-OFF: Man among those held is believed to be a terrorist

SEMPORNA: SIX men suspected to be involved with Sulu terrorists were arrested at the Kampung Bangau-Bangau squatter settlement, here, early yesterday.

The suspects include a man believed to be a terrorist who played a big role in the incursion. The six were believed to have been seeking refuge at the squatter settlement when they were nabbed.

District police chief Deputy Superintendent Mohd Firdaus Francis Abdullah said the police team moved in after receiving a tip-off that several suspicious-looking men were seen in the settlement.

Firdaus said police did not discount the possibility that the main suspect had tried to hide in the village after the shoot-out in Kampung Simunul on March 2.

"We are now trying to ascertain what they were up to, whether they were trying to flee the country, or if they were planning another attack.

Firdaus said VAT 69 police commandos and General Operations Force personnel moved into the village about 6am.

Villagers told the New Straits Times that a big team of armed policemen, clad in body armour, entered the village, located behind the Semporna Hospital, here, early in the morning before walking out with the suspects several hours later.

A woman in her 50s, claimed that two of the detainees were her elder brother, who is a fisherman, and his son. She said police went into her brother's house and woke the father and son up, before taking them into custody.

"The other two men who were arrested together with my brother are not known to me. They just came here recently from Southern Philippines," she said.

The bridge used by the police team to access the houses in the Kampung Bangau-Bangau squatter settlement in Semporna where the suspects were hiding yesterday.


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