KOTA KINABALU - Sulu gunmen resorted to probe attacks against fast-moving Malaysian security forces carrying out cutting-off operations in the Sungai Nyamuk area close to Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu.
The attacks were to test the strength and determine the location of Malaysian forces encircling the area, which the intruders were trying to slip out of in March last year, said Mejar Mingan Yusri Othman.
He told the trial of 30 Sulu gunmen at the High Court here yesterday that he and his group entered the area after the intruders started to attack other security teams.
Mej Mingan, who was then with the 7th Royal Malay Regiment in Tawau, said he was instructed to enter Sungai Nyamuk, several kilometres from the Kampung Tanduo skirmish area, on March 12 after being informed that there were Sulu gunmen remaining there.
"We were informed that several probe attacks were launched at Sungai Nyamuk where another team led by Mejer Shukri were keeping watch for a cutting-off operation to prevent remnant Sulu gunmen from escaping," he added.
Mej Mingan, now an army trainer at the National Defence University of Malaysia, was the 25th prosecution witness to testify before Justice Stephen Chung.
He said he heard intermittent gunshots from other areas after arriving at his location of responsibility.
He and his team were to provide assistance to Mej Shukri and his men, who were stationed on higher ground about 2km from where they were.
After the two teams merged, he and Mej Shukri and one Kapten Riduan discussed their next course of action to take control of the cut-off area and eliminate the remnant Sulu gunmen, he said.
Mej Mingan said they also discussed how to bring out the body of an intruder believed to have been shot by Mej Shukri and his men.
The trial held at a hall designated as High Court at the Sabah Prison Department in Kepayan here continues in May.