The police have detained 97 people to date under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) as Ops Daulat entered its seventh day today in Sabah.
Sabah commissioner of police Hamza Taib (left) said that the detainees are believed to have links with the self-styled 'Royal Sulu Army'.
"As the inspector-general of police (Ismail Omar) has said, the investigations will be carried under Section 130(c) (of the Penal Code concerning acts of terrorism) and Sosma," he told a press conference at Felda Sahabat Beach Resort, Lahat Datu, this morning.
Hamza also said another body was recovered today, raising the death toll to 54, following a gun battle that had ended at 4am yesterday.
Hamza said 22 bodies have been sent to Hospital Tawau and Lahat Datu for a post-mortem to be carried out.
"This time we can prove that we have recovered the bodies .. Now we are forced to show the bodies (to the media) to prove that these are the bodies of terrorists who intruded into our homeland," he said.
Asked to confirm a New Straits Times report that Azzimuddie Kiram, the leader of the armed intruders, had escaped the siege by security forces and is hiding in Semporna, Hamza immediately dismissed it
"If I had known he is in Semporna, I would have arrested him long ago," he said.
The police have detained 125 people who tried to enter the operations zone.
Hamza said those living in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu can return home soon, because the police operation is nearing completion.
"Our focus now is just Tanjung Batu and Kampung Sungai Bilis," he said, but would not respond to a question on the time-frame for Ops Daulat.
Both villages are located near Kampung Tanduo.
All the villages within the operations zone have been evacuated, and the residents placed in relief centres, he said.
Dead teen's identity being ascertained
The police are checking on the identity of a teenage boy who had been short dead yesterday morning while security forces were tracking intruders near the red zone.
Hamza said the criminal investigations department is carrying out the check.
He refuted reports in the Philippine media claiming that the police had shot at civilians and pregnant women during the operations.
"I strongly denied that. If you look at yesterday's incident, if the security force team had really wanted to shoot, we would not have needed to arrest anyone," he said, pointing out that no police reports have been received.