Men shot dead by police in Sabah thought to be Sulu militants: Report

KUALA LUMPUR: Two men shot dead by police in Penampang Baru in Sabah on Thursday are thought to have been Sulu militants, according to Bernama.

It is understood that the suspects were among the main recruiters of members for the Sulu Sultanate at new townships.

The pair had been under surveillance during the past week by the police for spreading the Sulu Sultanate ideology and militancy work.

It is also understood that the suspects, one in his 30s and the other in his 50s, came from Kota Kinabalu and had been involved in armed robberies in the state.

The two men were involved in a shoot-out with police at 4pm. A woman was arrested during the incident.

The situation in Penampang Baru returned to normal at 9.15pm and roads which had been cordoned off were re-opened to traffic.

Police had enforced a lockdown earlier in order to flush out the suspects, which then led to the shoot-out.

Earlier in the day, police had tailed the men before stopping them in front of some shophouses for checks.

Witnesses reported several gunshots lasting about a minute and people fleeing in all directions.