Villager recalls firefighting experience

LAHAD DATU, March 7 (Bernama) -- A Kampung Tanjung Batu resident went through a frightening experience when he was stopped by a group of seven armed intruders who asked him for cigarette while he was riding home on a motorcycle on Monday.

Abdul Rahman Seilani, 53, said the men, who were clad in military fatigue, stopped him while he was riding along a road in the village at about 9 am.

"I then gave them a pack of cigarettes that I had and they gave me RM50, but I did not take it," he said when met at the Fajar Harapan Hall at Felda Sahabat, 130 km from here, today.

Abdul Rahman said he decided to leave the village by traversing the coastline to Kampung Tanjung Labian before making his way to the Felda's workers quarters in Fajar Harapan to stay with his son.

Meanwhile, residents from seven villages are taking refuge at the Felda Harapan Hall in Felda Sahabat following the security forces' mopping-up operations against the armed in Kampung Tanduo near here.

Another resident, Yusof Sarang, 58, said about 40 villagers waded a knee-deep water along the beach to Tanjung Labian to come to the Fajar Harapan Hall.

"I decided to take along my wife and three children upon hearing news about the presence of Sulu armed intruders.

"We brought some clothes with us and are now staying at the house of my nephew in Fajar Harapan," he added.