Malaysian police on Friday handed over eight suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Islmaist terrorist group to the Philippines Army.
The deportation took place in international waters between Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo east of the mainland, and the southern Philippine islands where Abu Sayyaf is based, reports dpa news agency.
The eight suspects were arrested after Malaysian police killed five suspected members of the terror group earlier this month during an encounter at a hideout in Sabah.
Sabah state police said “both parties promised to continue with good cooperation in addressing militant threats”.
Known for its sometimes deadly kidnappings, some of which have been carried out during raids on Sabah, Abu Sayyaf has declared loyalty to the Islamic State militia and has been classified as a terrorist organisation by the US and the Philippines.
The group is one of several operating in the southern Philippines, where Islamic militants have fought against Manila’s Catholic-dominated central government for decades and have in the past asserted a territorial claim to Malaysia’s Sabah.