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Self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu in Philippines dies at 75.

MANILA, Oct. 20 Kyodo

The self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu in the Philippines who tried to reignite the country's dormant territorial claim to Malaysian-controlled Sabah died early Sunday, his daughter said.

Sultan Jamalul Kiram III died at age 75 at a Manila hospital due to organ failure, Jacel Hasan said in an interview on dzBB radio, adding her father had been battling kidney problems.

Last February, Kiram's 200 followers led by his younger brother Raja Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram entered Lahad datu, Sabah and engaged Malaysian forces in a standoff that ended with shootouts in March, killing more than 70.

Malaysian authorities eventually charged several of Kiram's followers with membership in a terrorist group, punishable by life in prison and waging war against the king, which carries the death penalty.

Sabah became part of Malaysia in 1963, and the country still pays a token rent to descendants of the Sultan of Sulu every year.

The Sultan's heirs have a pending petition with the United Nations for the return of Sabah property back to the family.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino is reluctant to revive the Philippine claim to Sabah, saying last February that the issue is "dormant at this point."
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Publication:Asian Political News
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Oct 21, 2013
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