Police deny rumours Abu Sayyaf targeting Sabah

KOTA KINABALU • Malaysian police have denied claims circulating on social media that eight Abu Sayyaf suicide bombers were targeting shopping complexes in the capital city of Sabah.

"We strongly deny social media claims Abu Sayyaf suicide bombers were targeting various locations in Kota Kinabalu city in particular, and Sabah in general," Kota Kinabalu City police chief assistant commissioner M. Chandra said yesterday.

He said that the viral messages were creating uneasiness and fear among people in the East Malaysian state.

Mr Chandra said firm action would be taken against irresponsible parties spreading such rumours.

The rumours added to tensions in the state following the beheading of Sabah engineer Bernard Then last week by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

Sabahans also remembered the February 2013 invasion of eastern Sabah by militants from the southern Philippines that killed 10 Malaysian policemen and at least 53 of the Filipino gunmen.

The viral social media messages stemmed from what was said to be information sent to police officers that the Abu Sayyaf was planting eight suicide bombers in Kota Kinabalu and 10 in Kuala Lumpur.

THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'Police deny rumours Abu Sayyaf targeting Sabah'. Print Edition | Subscribe