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Group Behind Pulau Mabul Ambush Has Kidnapped Previously

By Nur Natasha Aida Ismail and Nadia Jumri

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Bernama) -- A group of armed men which ambushed and killed a marine policeman in Pulau Mabul, two days ago is believed to have been involved in a kidnapping in Sabah's east coast.

According to a Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) source, the group has been identified and ESSCom was working with the Philippine authorities and public to strengthen the evidence.

Contacted by Bernama here Monday, it also said ESSCom would consider publishing photographs of the suspects to enable the public to recognise them, eventually leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Bernama previously reported that ESSCom intelligence division director Datuk Ahmad Nadzer Nordin had said that based on intelligence network, there were 14 kidnapping groups from southern Philippines.

Of the number, at least four had carried out kidnappings in Sabah's east coast, he said.

In the 11.10pm incident on Saturday, Police Corporal Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, was killed while his colleague, Police Constable Zakia Aleip, 26, was believed to have been abducted by a group of eight armed men at the Mabul Water Bungalow Resort, Pulau Mabul in Semporna.

The source also said ESSCom received good cooperation from the Philippine authorities which ordered its marine police force to track down the suspects in its waters.

Meanwhile, ESSCom operations director Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun, when contacted, said the security forces were ordered to step up security at resorts in Sabah's east coast.

Zakia is the fourth kidnap victim in Sabah this year.

On April 2, a group of seven armed men abducted a female Chinese tourist and female Filipino worker from the Singamata Adventures Reef and Resort in Semporna.

A month later, five armed men kidnapped a Chinese national, who is also a manager of a caged-fish breeding company in Pulau Baik, Lahad Datu.

All three victims were rescued.

-- BERNAMA




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