KOTA KINABALU – The dusk to dawn sea curfew in eastern Sabah waters has been extended for another two weeks from Wednesday, says Datuk Ramli Din.
The Sabah Police Commissioner said the 6pm to 6am curfew would be extended till Oct 13 in view of continuing threats from cross-border terrorism and kidnap groups from the southern Philippines.
The curfew involves the seven districts of Semporna, Tawau, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.
Ramli said they were still receiving information that kidnap-for-ransom groups as well as Abu Sayyaf terrorists were still planning intrusions into eastern Sabah waters.
“The Abu Sayyaf militant and kidnap-for-ransom groups from the southern Philippines are still active and have not stopped planning raids on Sabah,” he said Wednesday.
The curfew has been extended to ensure that the eastern security zone remains secure and safe from any intruders that could threaten tourists on island resorts or even marine researchers carrying out studies in the area.
“The curfew is to also ensure the safety and well-being of Sabahans who go out to sea and those living in the Esszone areas,” Ramli said, adding that the curfew has been in place since July 2015.
Those living within the curfew areas are advised to remain indoors between 6pm and 6am.
He said all district police chiefs can issue permits to eligible fishermen or in cases of emergency during curfew hours.
Security forces in the east coast have remained on high alert for militant gunmen fleeing towards Sabah following clashes between the Philippine security forces and Islamic State group led by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.
Manila believes that they will be able to end the Marawi siege, which has been ongoing since May 23, soon but fears remain that the group might take their war elsewhere in southern Philippines or flee towards Sabah. – The Star Online