Malaysian security forces said they had killed 13 suspected Philippine militants as they expanded their hunt for an elusive armed group on Borneo island yesterday, a day after an assault with fighter jets, mortars and hundreds of troops.
The nearly month-long confrontation in Sabah state, in Malaysia's part of Borneo, was sparked when the armed group of about 200 sailed from the nearby southern Philippines to press an ancient claim to the resource-rich region.
At least 40 people have been killed, including eight Malaysian policemen, raising concerns of broader insecurity ahead of elections in Malaysia.
Army trucks carrying dozens of soldiers continued to enter the village of Kampung Tanduo where the group had originally been holed up. A helicopter hovered overhead.
Fighter jets bombed the group's camp in the Felda Sahabat plantation early on Tuesday after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said his patience had run out.