Mar. 2 - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak warns of severe consequences if an armed Filipino group holed up in Sabah state doesn't surrender. Jessica Gray reports.
A funeral for Malaysian police officers shot dead on Friday during clashes with armed Filipinos demanding sovereignty for the state of Sabah. They were killed in the coastal town of Lahad Datu, where more than a 100 followers of the Sultanate of Sulu in the southern Philippines have been holed up for two weeks, laying claim to the region. On Saturday, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak warned the armed group to surrender or face harsh consequences. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Malaysia) MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER, NAJIB RAZAK SAYING: "They should surrender as soon as possible otherwise they have to face whatever actions are taken by Malaysian authorities." Philippine authorities are also seeking an end the conflict, but without further bloodshed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SPOKESMAN, EDWIN LACIERDA, SAYING: "The just and indeed the only correct thing for you to do is to surrender. To those who have influence and the capacity to reason with those in Lahad Datu, I ask you to convey with this message: surrender now without conditions." The group is calling for official recognition from Malaysia as well as new negotiations on sovereignty over Sabah state, which was leased to a British trading company by the Sultanate in the 19th century. The conflict has threatened to reignite tensions between Malaysia and the Philippines already heightened over security and migration along their joint borders.