'God will help us' - Raja Muda

COTABATO, Philippines - The leader of the Sabah standoff claimed on Tuesday, March 5, that Malaysian fighter jets had dropped bombs on their positions during the crackdown ordered by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“We can see the fighter jets. It’s true that they [launched an] air assault. They are not listening to us, both the Philippine and Malaysian government," Raja Muda Kiram told a local radio station.

The brother of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III explained that the all-out offensive using air and ground assets carried out by the Malaysian military had caused his group to scatter.

“God will help us,” he said.

Raja Muda added that he is not certain if there were casualties on their side in the attack launched at 7 am on Tuesday in Tanduao, Lahud Datu.

Malaysian security forces launched fresh attacks on the more than 100 Filipino gunmen holed up in Tanduao, Lahad Datu and nearby villages in Sabah, forcing villagers to flee their homes.

Najib stressed that "the government must take action to defend the country's dignity and sovereignty as demanded by the people" and indicated that all efforts to prevent bloodshed had "failed." - with reports from Jeoffrey Maitem & Carlos Santamaria/Rappler.com