Sunday, February 28, 2010

Armed forces not involved in Aceh, says Zahid

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has dismissed reports implying that Malaysian armed forces were involved in terror activities in Aceh, Indonesia.

He nevertheless called on the Indonesian authorities to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Ahmad Zahid was commenting on reports about a raid in Aceh last week in which Indonesian police were said to have confiscated bayonets, money, DVDs as well as “Malaysian military uniforms”.

Zahid said Malaysia had never interfered in any conflicts in neighbouring countries.

He was speaking to reporters after sending off Malaysian armed forces for the International Monitoring Team-Mindanao at the Subang air force base here.

The team, headed by the army’s infantry director Maj-Gen Datuk Baharum Hamzah and comprises 12 armed forces personnel, three policemen and two civil service officers, left on a Royal Malaysian Air Force’s C130 military transport aircraft.

Zahid said that based on feedback, the international members of the monitoring team welcomed the mandate given to Malaysia to lead the mission.

The team would be deployed for 12 months in Mindanao, Philippines, covering areas like Cotabato, General Santos and Zamboanga. They would be joined by other teams including from Libya and Brunei. — Reuters

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