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Malaysian soldier, 3 Kiram men killed in Sabah battle - Malaysian defense chief

At least one Malaysian soldier and three suspected followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were killed in a firefight in Sabah before noon Tuesday, Malaysian Armed Forces chief Gen. Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zain said. According to The Star Online, Zulkifeli said the soldier was killed in the second of two encounters at Kampung Nyamuk about 10:45 a.m. "(In the first encounter at 7:45 a.m.), they had a gun fight with five armed men who then retreated," said Zulkifeli. Security forces fought another engagement with Kiram's followers at 10:45 a.m. "In (that) exchange of fire a soldier and three terrorists were killed," he said. The Star Online said this was the first fatality for the Malaysian armed forces since operations to flush out Kiram's followers started last March 5. Also on Tuesday, Malaysian police detained six people - one of them supposedly high on the police's wanted list. The suspect, who was arrested during an operation at Kampung Bangau-Bangau in Sabah, is said to have links with Kiram's followers. Semporna police chief Mohd Firdaus Francis Abdullah said police teams made the arrest during a raid on a house after receiving a tip. Malaysian forces had been conducting offensive operations to hunt down Kiram's followers in Sabah since March 5, after a series of deadly encounters starting March 1. — DVM, GMA News