Monday, March 04, 2013

162 Indonesian oil palm workers in Sabah evacuated

As many as 162 Indonesians working at oil palm plantations in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, have been evacuated to temporary shelter some six kilometers away from the clashes between the police and assailants, which have killed seven, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The workers, who were employed by “Sahabat 17” plantation, were taken to the Embara complex, according to a statement by the ministry made available to The Jakarta Post on Monday.

“They will be sheltered until the situation becomes safe and conducive,” the ministry’s director of media and information, PLE Priatna, said as quoted in the statement.

The Indonesian Consul General in Kota Kinabalu, Soepeno Sahid, said in the statement that all the sheltered Indonesians were unharmed.

“The Indonesian Consulate General has been keeping an eye on the situation and maintains communication with local law enforcement officials,” he said.

The ministry has also asked Indonesian sailors not to sail to the Sabah area until the situation is totally safe.

On Saturday night, five policemen were killed in the ambush by unidentified gunmen, suspected Filipino intruders, in Sabah. Two of the attackers were killed, Malaysian police said.

The shootings occurred about 150 kilometers away from another district in eastern Sabah state where 12 Filipinos and two Malaysian police were killed on Friday after members of a Philippine Muslim royal clan

occupied a village last month, claiming the territory as their own.

The Filipino group is led by the brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III of the southern Philippine province of Sulu.-The Jakarta Post (March 04, 2013 5:41PM)

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