LAHAD DATU June 8 — The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) scheduled to end tomorrow has been extended to June 24.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah said the curfew from 6pm to 6am, was enforced in the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

“Those living in the affected areas are required to stay indoors, while outsiders are not allowed to enter (or be) in the area during the period,” he said in a statement tonight.

He said the curfew was extended to ensure that the waters would not be encroached by terrorists, which could threaten the safety of residents, international researchers conducting research as well as tourists visiting the resort islands.

“Based on the information we gathered, groups including Abu Sayyaf, involved in kidnapping for ransom, are still trying to infiltrate these waters to carry out kidnapping and cross-border crime,” he said.

Idris said the curfew order was also to facilitate enforcement and monitoring on the movement of boats while the presence of security forces in the area gave the local population a sense of security.

However, he said the district police chiefs in the affected areas have been authorised to issue permits to those applying for fishing activities and to attend to urgent matters during the curfew. — Bernama