KOTA KINABALU, (June 17) — A Sulu militant shot dead by security forces at Kampung Tanjung Batu, Lahad Datu last year had been hiding inside a hole in the ground, the High Court here was told Tuesday.
Sergeant Tungkat Anak Unsa of the General Operations Force (GOF) 11th Battalion based in Batu Kawa, Sarawak said the militant, who tried to ambush security forces single-handedly, was gunned down at about 6.30am on March 7 last year, nearly 15 hours after a skirmish had erupted in the same area in which 17 militants were shot dead.
He said the hole in which the militant hid were one of several holes in the ground of a valley.
Asked by counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan on the depth of the holes, Tungkat said some were about 1.5 metre deep while some were much deeper.
The GOF sergeant told the court that before the skirmish the day before, he and his team, who were on higher ground, saw 10-20 armed men walking in the valley.
However Sivananthan said a platoon leader ASP Mursalim Mohd Salleh, who was involved in the skirmish, had earlier testified in court that he saw 30-35 armed men walking in the same area.
“The difference between my position and ASP Mursalim’s position was about 20-25 metres and (so) our sight was different,” explained Tungkat.
Thirty accused, comprising 27 Filipinos and three local residents, are being tried in the case, in which 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 at the Sabah Prisons Department continues tomorrow.