Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Police intercept Sultanate of Sulu followers in Tawi-Tawi

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 5): Police intercept Sultanate of Sulu followers in Tawi-Tawi

Philippine police have intercepted 67 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram, III and prevented them to sail to Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, an official disclosed Tuesday.

Tawi-Tawi police director Sr. Supt. Joselito Salido disclosed the group was intercepted Tuesday in Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi province. Salido said they were able to convince the group to return home, and “they voluntarily heeded our advice.”

“They are peaceful and unarmed people,” Salido described the group. The group’s members came from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, he disclosed.

Philippine government authorities have tightened their watch in the country’s southern border to prevent more followers of the Sultanate of Sulu to sail to Sabah to reinforce their comrades holed out in Lahad Datu. The move is aimed at preventing further escalation of the Sabah standoff which started when 180 members of the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu led by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the Sultan’s brother, sailed from Mindanao on Feb 12 to stake a claim to Sabah.

Hostilities broke out the past few days as the Malaysian government launched an assault since Kiram’s group stood its ground despite stern warning for the group to leave the place.


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