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The 2013 Lahad Datu standoff was a military conflict that started on 11 February 2013 and ended on 24 March 2013. The standoff arose after 235 militants, some of whom were armed, arrived by boats in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia from Simunul island, Tawi-Tawi, in the southern Philippines, on 11 February 2013. The group, calling themselves the "Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo", was sent by Jamalul Kiram III, one of the claimants to the throne of the Sultanate of Sulu.

2013 Lahad Datu standoff
Part of the North Borneo dispute and Cross border attacks in Sabah
Felda-Sahabat Sabah Kg-Tanduo-01.jpg The entrance to the first site of the standoff in Kampung Tanduo which has now been transformed into a Malaysian Army camp. The signboard translated as this, "Welcome to the Tanduo Village Camp. Caution! You have entered a military camp, please maintain your discipline!".
2013 Lahad Datu standoff.svg Location map of the standoff.
Date 11 February 2013 – 24 March 2013
(1 month, 1 week and 6 days)
Location Tanduo, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau in eastern Sabah
Result

Decisive Malaysian victory.

  • Military operations replaced by ESSCOM and ESSZONE.
  • Those detained were charged under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
  • Thousands of illegal immigrants in Sabah repatriated back to their countries.
Belligerents
Sulu Sultanate Sultanate of Sulu (Jamalul Kiram III's faction)
Filipino illegal immigrants (Non-Combative)

 Malaysia
Sabah Sabahan local villagers


Philippines Philippines (supporter)
Commanders and leaders
Jamalul Kiram III
Agbimuddin Kiram

Sultan Abdul Halim
Najib Razak
Hishammuddin
Zahid Hamidi
Ismail Omar
Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin
Musa Aman


Benigno Aquino III
Units involved
Royal Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo

Malaysian Armed Forces

Royal Malaysia Police

Supported elements:


Philippine Navy
Strength

235 (Filipino media)

400 (Kiram claimed)
6,500+ (7 battalions)
Casualties and losses
  • 56 killed
  • 3 wounded
  • 149 captured
  • 10 killed (1 non-combat casualty)
  • 12 wounded
  • Civilian casualties
  • 6 killed
  • 1 wounded
  • 6 escaped
  • 564 arrested

All statistics reference:

Note: All these total only during the standoff and does not include the total in any further actions.

The 2013 Lahad Datu standoff was a military conflict that started on 11 February 2013 and ended on 24 March 2013. The standoff arose after 235 militants, some of whom were armed, arrived by boats in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia from Simunul island, Tawi-Tawi, in the southern Philippines, on 11 February 2013. The group, calling themselves the "Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo", was sent by Jamalul Kiram III, one of the claimants to the throne of the Sultanate of Sulu.

Kiram III stated that their objective was to assert the unresolved territorial claim of the Philippines to eastern Sabah (the former North Borneo). Malaysian security forces surrounded the village of Tanduo in Lahad Datu where the group had gathered and, after several weeks of negotiations and unmet deadlines for the intruders to withdraw, the Malaysian security forces attacked and routed the Sulu militants. At the end of the standoff, around 56 militants were killed together with 6 civilians and 10 Malaysian security forces.