Malaysia says 31 Filipinos fatally shot in Borneo
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysian security forces gunned down 31 Filipino intruders in Borneo on Thursday, the highest number of casualties in a single day since nearly 200 members of a Philippine Muslim clan took over an entire village last month, police said.
The conflict has wreaked political havoc for both Malaysia and the neighboring Philippines. Most of the armed clansmen had eluded capture in a coastal district filled with palm oil plantations and forested hills after Malaysian forces attacked them with airstrikes and mortar fire on Tuesday.
Police and military forces tracking the Filipinos waged a fierce gunbattle that ended in the deaths of 31 clansmen Thursday, national police chief Ismail Omar said, adding that no Malaysians were injured.
Ismail said at least 52 Filipinos have now been killed in the past week since hostilities in the Sabah security crisis escalated. Eight policemen also were fatally shot by the Filipino clansmen and their allies in various parts of Malaysia's eastern Sabah state in Borneo.