Sabah forces on high alert for Abu Sayyaf, IS mil­i­tants

New Straits Times - - News -

KOTA KINABALU: Au­thor­i­ties here have stepped up their op­er­a­tions to track down il­le­gal im­mi­grants as po­lice re­main on high alert to stop the in­flux of Filipinos from south­ern Philip­pines.

East­ern Sabah Se­cu­rity Com­mand (Ess­com) Com­man­der Datuk Wan Ab­dul Bari Wan Ab­dul Khalid said the of­fen­sive aimed to track down crim­i­nal el­e­ments flee­ing Min­danao.

“The op­er­a­tion is aimed at thwart­ing mil­i­tants from Abu Sayyaf and the Is­lamic State from mak­ing their pres­ence here fol­low­ing the mar­tial l a w i mposed in Marawi City where clashes have es­ca­lated this week.”

Bari said since Fri­day, the se­cu­rity forces in­spected 450 peo­ple and 62 of them were taken to the doc­u­men­ta­tion cen­tre for screen­ing for hav­ing du­bi­ous iden­tity doc­u­ments.

“We de­tained 15 for­eign­ers and they were placed at the tem­po­rary de­ten­tion cen­tre for de­por­ta­tion.

“We no­tice many im­mi­grants have left the area to avoid ar­rest since we started our op­er­a­tion.”

This was Ess­com’s third se­ries of special op­er­a­tions in Felda Sa­ha­bat this year with the lat­est fo­cus­ing on six vil­lages namely Tam­bisan, Long Patau, Lok Buani, Tan­jung Labian Darat, Tan­jung Batu and Tan­jung Tegupi Laut. In the op­er­a­tion, se­cu­rity forces ar­rested two for­eign work­ers, who tested pos­i­tive for drugs.

Bari said the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties had de­mol­ished 93 houses in three set­tle­ments — Kam­pung Ke­nali, Kam­pung Pangkalan and Kam­pung Batu — which were built il­le­gally on gov­ern­ment land.

Datuk Wan Ab­dul Bari Wan Ab­dul Khalid

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