Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali (middle) with the recovered two revolvers, a .22 and a .38; seven .22 bullets; one .38 bullet and five empty casings and a samurai sword. Pix by Abdul Rahemang Taiming.

By Abdul Rahemang Taiming

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Pics and video by Abdul Rahemang Taiming

KUNAK: Security forces shot dead two men believed to be involved in a kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) syndicate in waters off Boheyan island near here last night.

In the 10.45pm incident, the two men, believed to be in their 50s, were onboard a yellow pump boat and attempted to flee after being discovered by police during ‘Ops Gasak’ at Kampung Kunak Tiga here.

A police team led by state Internal Security and Public Order department head Assistant Commissioner Mohd Nasaruddin M. Nasir pursued the men and ordered them to stop the boat.

The suspects, however, opened fire and the police returned fire in self-defence, killing both assailants.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali said authorities recovered two revolvers, a .22 and a .38; seven .22 bullets; one .38 bullet and five empty casings and a samurai sword.

“Both men did not have identity cards and are believed to be stooges for a KFR group monitoring the movements of fishermen,” Hazani said during a press conference here today.

Hazani said in separate operation, Esscom seized a pump boat believed to be used during the kidnapping of two Indonesian fishermen off Semporna waters on Sept 11.

The two victims in their 30s, Samsul and Osman, were spirited away to a neighbouring country.

Ops Gasak involves personnel from the Sabah police headquarters, Kunak district police, General Task Force, Special Action Unit and Esscom.

During the operation, 18 undocumented men were arrested and 16 pump boats were seized.

This is the second time security forces shot dead suspected KFR agents this year.

On May 8, four men were shot dead in a shootout off Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu on May 8.

On Dec 8,2016, three kidnappers were shot dead and another two arrested during a shootout off Semporna waters.

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