Followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III are still alive and well despite a fierce assault by Malaysian security forces, radio reports said Tuesday.
Sultanate of Sulu spokesperson Abraham Idjirani said they received a call from the sultan’s brother Raja Muda Azzimudie shortly after 11 a.m., where he said he was fine.
"Raja Muda and his men are resting now but they are still alive," Idjirani said in a radio interview.
He added that the group is prepared to defend itself even as Malaysian forces dropped two bombs on the latter.
Idjirani said Azzimudie and his men are still "intact" in the area.
He also stressed that he does not know whether the group in Lahad Datu, Sabah were wounded in the Malaysian assault.
Malaysian police claimed before noon Tuesday the followers of Kiram had been defeated, following an early morning assault on Lahad Datu in Sabah.
Malaysian forces assaulted the area where Kiram’s followers had been holed up for three weeks.
Last March 1, Kiram’s followers engaged the Malaysian forces in a bloody clash that left 12 Filipinos and two Malaysian police commandos dead.