KOTA KINABALU, (Feb 10)) — The High Court here today was told that VAT69 commandos fired shots at a group of intruders in Kampung Tanjung Batu, Lahad Datu while conducting an operation on March 6 last year.
DSP Anwar Rosdi said during the 3pm incident, his patrol team was conducting a ‘cut-off’ operation to prevent the intruders from escaping when they saw five or six armed men approaching them.
“My team fired shots in the direction of the armed intruders from about 30 metres away,” he said.
Queried by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail if the intruders returned fire, Anwar said: “Yes.”
The sixth witness in the hearing into the armed intrusion in Lahad Datu last year said the shoot-out lasted five to 10 minutes, after which, he and his men returned to their assigned positions.
He said, two hours later, they went to inspect the area where the shoot-out occurred.
“We discovered two dead armed intruders but found nothing on their bodies,” he said.
Apart from inspecting the said area while conducting the ‘cut-off’ operation, Anwar said his team did not attempt to make a detailed search as the situation in Kampung Tanjung Batu was still dangerous.
He said Operations Tactical Commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun had instructed the team to remain at their assigned positions until March 9.
On March 12, Anwar told the court that he was instructed to lead a group of snipers to assist the Malaysian Armed Forces conduct an observation at Kampung Tanduo until March 16.
He also said he, Inspector Rosli Wahab and 12 snipers went into Kampung Tungku at 2 am on March 19 to carry out a surveillance of the area until March 21.
Earlier, Anwar was asked to look at 11 aerial photographs of Kampung Tanduo, which had been discussed by him and his superiors as well other VAT69 officers on Feb 28.
Abdul Gani: After looking at these aerial photographs, in which two photographs show an armed intruder pointing a gun at the helicopter; two photographs show armed intruders under oil palm trees; one photograph shows an intruder at the verandah of a house and some under the house; one shows armed intruders wearing t-shirts and camouflage print trousers; and five photographs of armed intruders patrolling, what were their (armed intruders) actions and purpose, in your opinion during the discussion?
Anwar: They (armed intruders) intended to go against the security forces.
Abdul Gani: What do you mean by ‘wanted to go against the security forces?
Anwar: They wanted to challenge and go against the security forces because they pointed their guns at the helicopter. They were also making preparations by patrolling so that nobody could enter Kampung Tanduo.
The trial involves 30 individuals, comprising 27 Filipinos and three local residents, charged with carrying out terrorism-related activities in Sabah last year.
Some are facing multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group or waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, recruiting members for a terrorist group or willfully harbouring individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group.
They allegedly committed the offences between Feb 12 and April 10 last year. The hearing before Justice Stephen Chung, which is being convened at the Sabah Prisons Department, resumes tomorrow. — BERNAMA