SEMPORNA - A massive air and sea hunt for Filipino gunmen possibly holding a Malaysian marine police constable is on as all escape routes off Semporna has been cut off.
According to security officials, patrol boats from various security forces as well as the navy's helicopter have been scouring the Semporna area for the gunmen who killed a 32-year-old marine police corporal in Mabul island.
Marine policeman Kpl Rajah Jamuan was killed while a constable identified as Zakiah Aleip, 26, was believed to be kidnapped after a shootout with gunmen during an ambush at the Mabul Water Bungalows Resort in the island at about 11pm on Saturday.
Initial indication was that the gunmen might have rowed into the area with their boat before climbing up the resorts jetty from the back of the building.
It is learnt that as soon as they entered, the gunmen started to shoot randomly towards the restaurant, reception office and jetty area before fleeing. Two other policemen managed to take cover during the shooting.
One of the policeman, Sjn Jeffridin who was on a boat nearby, heard the commotion and went to investigate. He found that two of his colleagues had gone missing.
Kpl Abdul Rajah's body was later found under the jetty.
It is suspected that the shootout could be due to revenge attacks or for ransom demand.