Najib to visit Ops Daulat ground zero

LAHAD DATU, March 7 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will visit Sabah today to see for himself the running of the "Ops Daulat" operation against armed intruders in the east coast of the state, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said.

The security forces are undertaking a mopping-up and search operation in an area around Kampung Tanduo, about 130km from here, following air strikes there on Tuesday by fighter aircraft to flush out the terrorists holed up there since Feb 9.

Hishammuddin said Najib had expressed the wish to be at ground zero on the first day of the operations itself, and that he had been kept updated on developments by telephone.

"I and (Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad) Zahid (Hamidi) are looking forward to his visit. We have been updating him by telephone, but today he wants to visit ground zero," he told a news conference at which Zahid was also present.

Hishammuddin said Najib would be updated on the operation and it was hoped that he would lift the spirits of the security forces personnel involved in the operation.

Ahmad Zahid said Najib would also have a look at the logistics set-up and enquire into the welfare of the security forces personnel.

He also said that it was not Najib's first visit to a ground zero of operations because he had, also in his capacity as the defence minister previously, visited Herzegovina, Timor Leste and Lebanon. His latest visit was to Gaza.

At the news conference, Ahmad Zahid distributed to the journalists several photographs of the mopping-up and search operation in Kampung Tanduo.