From InterAksyon (Mar 4): Semporna, Sabah death toll up to 12, situation 'under control' - Malaysian media
The death toll from the violence that erupted in the town of Semporna in Sabah rose to 12 even as Malaysian authorities declared the situation "under control" after clashing with supporters of the Sulu sultan on Saturday, Malaysian media reported.
Police Inspector General Tan Sri Ismail Omar was quoted by media reports as saying that the body of another Malaysian policeman was recovered late Sunday, bringing to six the total number of Malaysians killed in the clash.
Bernama, Malaysia's national news agency, said six other "intruders" or supporters of the sultan were killed.
The camp of Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III earlier said among those killed were an imam and four children. Another imam was also wounded.
Malaysian police did not confirm this report.
Over 20 have been killed on both sides since violence erupted last week as Malaysian authorities moved in on the gunmen after weeks of standoff.
In a press conference Sunday night, Ismail said the bodies of the six policemen were brought to the Semporna Hospital.
"Their identities will be revealed to their respective families before being posted on the official website of the Royal Malaysian police," Ismail was quoted as saying.
Malaysia's The Star said local police also accounted for 19 of the 25 policemen caught in the ambush and police have declared the incident as "resolved."
Malaysian authorities reported the incident as an "ambush" in Kampung Sri Jaya in the Semulu settlement late Saturday but the camp of the sultan claimed local authorities attacked them first.
Ismail said police were approaching a house in the village to investigate reports on the presence of armed men in the area.
Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities denied that hostages were being held by the Sulu sultan's followers, adding that situation in the village has returned to "normal."