(File pix) Photo shows an Esscom team patrolling Sabah waters. Security forces shot dead a suspected member of a kidnap-for-ransom group in the east coast of Sabah, early this morning. Pix by Abdul Rahemang Taiming

KOTA KINABALU: Security forces shot dead a suspected member of a kidnap-for-ransom group in the east coast of Sabah, early this morning.

Sources told the New Straits Times that the shooting occurred in waters off Pulau Kalungan at 3am today.

Security forces conducting patrol duty had spotted a suspicious vessel. It is learnt that the suspect on the vessel opened fire, causing the security forces personnel to return fire.

A shotgun and bullets were seized in the event.

The incident was confirmed by Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali. However, he did not divulge any details on the incident.

"The Sabah police commissioner (Datuk Ramli Din) will hold a press conference on the matter this afternoon," added Hazani.

Ramli is expected to meet reporters at the Lahad Datu police headquarters at 3pm, today.