MANILA - The spokesman of the sultanate of Sulu claimed 10 people were killed and 4 others were wounded in the firefight between Malaysian forces and the group of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram in Sabah, Malaysia Friday.
Spokesman Abraham Idjirani said he had just talked to Kiram who confirmed that 10 of his men were killed while 4 others were wounded in the shooting incident Friday.
The report runs counter to information from the Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines who said there were no fatalities in the shooting.
"Ang sabi natin 'Your Highness, meron ba tayong casualties?' Ang sabi niya 'Meron.' Ilan ang martyrs? Sabi niya 'Sampu.' Ilan ang wounded? Sabi niya 'Apat.' May babae ba? Sabi niya 'yes...one of the fallen together with his wife,'" he said.
Idjirani appealed to the Malaysian government to stop the attack, saying Kiram's men were armed only with bolos and knives and only a few had guns.
He claimed Malaysian police commandos were using snipers to get at Kiram's men.
Kiram and more than 200 followers have been holed up in Lahad Datu, Sabah for the past 3 weeks to revive the sultanate of Sulu's claim over Sabah. The sultanate of Sulu is citing historical accounts as basis for its claim.
The sultanate wants that a formal agreement recognizing their Sabah claim, brokered by Manila, be reached with Kuala Lumpur.
Manila, however, said the sultanate's condition is unacceptable.
It even warned members of the sultanate of possible criminal charges as a result of their decision to enter a foreign territory while bearing firearms. With a report by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News