KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s army chief says a soldier and three Filipino gunmen have been killed in the latest clash over a Philippine Muslim clan’s incursion into Borneo.
Security forces have waged several gunbattles since March 1 against about 200 Filipinos who began occupying a coastal village last month to revive a long-dormant territorial claim to Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state in Borneo. Airstrikes and mortar attacks drove the Filipinos out of the village last week, but many are believed to be hiding in nearby palm oil plantations.
Armed forces chief Zulkifeli Zin said a firefight left one soldier and three Filipinos dead Tuesday morning.
Malaysian authorities have reported nearly 60 Filipino casualties and eight police deaths in Sabah this month. Authorities say the clansmen must surrender unconditionally and face prosecution.