Philippine leader Aquino criticises gunmen in Malaysia
MANILA (AFP) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday criticised Filipino gunmen who entered a Malaysian state in a bizarre effort to stake a territorial claim, warning their actions could lead to conflict.
Dozens of followers of an Islamic sultan from the southern Philippines sailed over to neighbouring Sabah on the Malaysian part of Borneo island more than a week ago to assert their centuries-old claim over the area.
Malaysian authorities surrounded the group, which is believed to be made up of anywhere between 80 and 400 people, and a stand-off has since been in place while negotiations continue.
"Going there with arms is not the way to resolve this," Mr Aquino said in his first public comments on the issue.