LAHAD DATU, Aug 8 — The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), which ended today, has been extended to August 23.

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

“Residents 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 today.

According to Idris, the extension of the curfew was to ensure the waters would not be encroached by terrorists, which could threaten the security of international researchers conducting research, as well as tourists on the resort islands.

He said this was because groups involved in kidnapping for ransom, including Abu Sayyaf group, were still trying to carry out kidnapping and cross-border crime.

The curfew was to facilitate enforcement and monitoring on the movements of boats and for the maritime community to feel safe with the presence of the security force vessels in the vicinity, he added.

Meanwhile, Idris said all district police chiefs in the ESSZone had also been authorised to issue permits to eligible applicants for fishing activities or to attend urgent matters during the curfew. — Bernama