- March 1: 12 Sulu Royal Army killed, and 2 Malaysian Police
- March 2: 2 Malaysian Police killed by ambushed
- March 3: 3 Malaysian Policed killed by Villagers, 3 other Malaysian Police killed by armed men, 5 Sulu Royal Army supporters killed by police, 1 armed man killed by villager, 1 Imam religious leader and his 4 sons killed by Malaysian Police
Death counts: [12+2+2+3+3+5+1+1+4=33]
Update as of March 4, 2013 8:50 AM +8 GMT
At least six followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and six Malaysian policemen were killed in clashes in Sabah over the weekend, following Friday's violent shootout that killed 12 Royal Sulu Army and two Malaysian commandos.
Sources from the Philippines authorities monitoring the Kampung Tanduo standoff said Friday's bloody clash that left 12 South Philippines gunmen dead may have provoked sentiments among their followers who have settled along the coastal villages between Tawau and Lahad Datu.
"These gunmen from the Sulu Sultanate are made up mainly of four tribes, namely the Tausug, Maguindanao, Badjao and Samal. These tribes have great brotherhood among them and regardless of their nationalities; they will rise in show of loyalty to their ethnicity.
"It will be no surprise if these tribes living in Malaysia join forces to fight the cause of their Sultanate of Sulu in the Southern Philippines counterparts.
"In Southern Philippines, these tribes also make up the bulk of MNLF, MILF and Abu Sayaf rebels, joining forces in an alliance of convenience to fight common causes. They are hardcore rebels who have battle in their blood and do not give up easily. It is not unusual for them fight to their death." said a source.
The sources said intelligence reports showed that the armed group of about 200 who are followers of the Sulu Ruler Sultan Jamalul Kiram III had planned of settling North Borneo for their claimed as their territory at least four months earlier.
" Sultan Jamalul Kiram III held a meeting with his followers, members of the MNLF and remnants of the Abu Sayaf rebels in October last year and offered them land in Sabah if they fought along to capture the state. They have been entering Sabah undetected since before the standoff on Feb 12, 2013. Other large groups had also attempted to penetrate the Sabah coast since the standoff but it was thwarted by the Philippines navy that has deployed seven ships to keep them away from Malaysian waters."
It is learnt that Sultan Jamalul Kiram III's brother, crowned prince Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram who is leading the armed group in Kampung Tanduo, had on Saturday pleaded for medical assistance for his injured men from the Philippines forces guarding their waters.
However, when he was told that aid would only be rendered if his group gave up their firearms and surrender, Azzimudie refused and remained defiant. It is also learnt that the group had been burying its dead members since Saturday.
Friday's clash ended the 16-day standoff that began on Feb 12 with two police commandos of the Malaysian General Operations Force elite VAT 69 killed and their three squad members severely injured.
Meanwhile, Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, the younger brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, claimed during a telephone interview with a Philippines radio station that his men had captured at least five Malaysian policemen and seized a cache of firearms. His claims have yet to be verified with police.
Sources also revealed that three of the five policemen who were killed in the ambush at Kampung Sri Jaya Siminul in Semporna were ruthlessly attacked with parangs and keris by a dozen of people said to be Tausug villagers living there.
It is learnt that a prominent and religious leader who was part of the group that was ambushed and shot by the police party was killed when police returned fire, and this infuriated the rest who went on a rampage with knives and sharp objects.
The superintendent had led three dozen police personnel in an operation at Kampung Sri Jaya Siminul, about 180km from the original area of the stand-off in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu.
The operation was launched at 4pm on Saturday following intelligence reports of the existence of a cache of firearms in the village and that an uprising by certain groups of villagers believed to be of Southern Philippines origin and residing there was in the making.
About three hours into the operation, the team came under gunfire attack while it was scouring one village after another.
It is learnt that the superintendent who was the first to be hit by a hail of gunshots fired by hiding gunmen died moments later.