Violence erupts at Malaysian standoff, armed group says 10 dead
MANILA (REUTERS) - A standoff in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah erupted in violence on Friday, with a spokesman for a group of armed Filipinos occupying a village there saying 10 members of the group had been killed when police raided their camp.
But the Malaysian home minister denied that police had fired a shot and the Philippine government said it had received no reports of casualties among the group, who are followers of the Sultanate of Sulu, in the southern Philippines.
The standoff with police has threatened to spark tension between the Philippines and Malaysia, whose ties have been periodically frayed by security and migration problems along their sea border. Both governments have urged the group to return home.
Abraham Idjirani, a spokesman for the group, told reporters in Manila that 10 members of the group had been killed and four wounded when Malaysian police raided the village where they have been holed up for more than two weeks.