The police chief also dismissed rumours that the intruders had beheaded a policeman whom they had taken as a hostage.
LAHAD DATU: Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar tonight confirmed that a total of six policemen were killed in an ambush by armed intruders in Kampung Sri Jaya, Simunul, Semporna, Sabah, last night.
He said six of the armed intruders were also killed.
The police today recovered the bodies of the six policemen in a rescue mission which also saw the evacuation of 19 other police personnel from Kampung Sri Jaya Simunul.
Ismail told reporters in a late night press conference here that the remains of the policemen had been sent to Hospital Semporna.
“Their identities would be revealed to their families first,” he said.
He also dismissed rumours that the intruders had beheaded a policeman whom they had taken as a hostage.
Earlier today Ismail had said that only five policemen and two armed intruders had been killed in the ambush last night.
The policemen, from the Semporna district police headquarters, had been ordered to carry out an investigation at the village following a tip-off that there was a group of armed men there, he said.
Ismail said the policemen were shot while heading towards a house in the village and opened fire in self defence.
Previously it was thought that only two policemen had been killed in the gunfight.
Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib told TV3′s ‘Malaysia hari Ini’ programme this morning that two members of Malaysian security forces were killed in an ambush during a police raid on a village on water in Semporna last night.
He said the policemen were shot at by an unidentified group in Kampung Seri Jaya Siminul at about 6.30 pm.
He said the police were investigating whether the group, believed to be less than 10 in number, had any link to the armed intruders claiming to be from the royal army of the Sulu Sultanate in the Philippines holed up in Kampung Tanduo, 130km from Lahad Datu.
It was earlier reported that the intruders had planned to attack Lahad Datu police station and that both Lahad Datu and Tawau Police Special Investigation Divisions had been deployed to the scene.
On Friday, two VAT 69 police commandos, ASP Zulkifli Mamat, 29 and Sergeant Sabarudin Daud, were killed, while three others were injured in a gunfire with the armed intruders in Kampung Tandou.
Twelve of the armed Sultan Sulu followers were also killed.
A spokesman for Sultan Sulu meanwhile said that its forces on Sabah had taken hostage a Malaysian police officer, two soldiers and a government official.
“We advised the people on the ground to take care of them, to feed them, so that in case there shall be international agencies to investigate the matter we can present those four captured government officials of Malaysia as witnesses to the atrocities committed by the government of Malaysia,” the group’s spokesman, Abraham Idjirani, said Sunday.
Sea way under control
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has tightened control in the waters off Lahad Datu, Sabah with the cooperation from security forces, including the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) to face possible threats from the armed intruders from the Philippines.
Its director-general Admiral Mohd Amdan Kurish said three maritime vessels and six patrol boats were patrolling in the waters now.
“Prior to this, we have three ships patrolling in Lahad Datu, two of them at sea, and the other one on standby.
“However, in view with the intrusion issue, we have deployed six MMEA boats based in Sandakan, Sabah to increase control in the waters,” he told reporters after the opening of Malaysian Maritime Academy and Training Centre, now known as Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy (AMSAS) in Gebeng, Kuantan yesterday.