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27 Mac, 2013
[hang nadim] Commando weeps as widow speaks to him......
KUALA LUMPUR: "When I saw his wife, I broke down.
"I felt guilty that I could not protect her husband.
"I felt I had betrayed her and the children."
Minutes earlier, police commando Inspector Mazlan Mohammed had collapsed in tears as he met the widow of his partner, Inspector Zulkifli Mamat, on the parade grounds of the Police Training Centre (Pulapol), near here yesterday.
Zulkifli's wife, Noraziah Nor, 29, had wanted to meet Mazlan as he was the last person with her husband before he was killed in a gunfight in Kampung Tanduo on March 1.
It was a touching scene when Noraziah, who is pregnant, walked up to Mazlan.
The 34-year-old VAT 69 commando went down on his knees twice, crying, as Noraziah spoke to him.
Mazlan's battle-hardened colleagues, who were around him, also cried silently.
This was the first time Noraziah met with her husband's squad mates after the Lahad Datu conflict.
She was among the families of the eight policemen who were killed in action in Lahad Datu.
The families were at Pulapol for the 206th Police Day celebrations yesterday.
"I was heartbroken when I saw his wife. I wish I could have saved him.
"Now his wife is a widow and their children orphans," said Mazlan, who was in full battle gear.
Mazlan and Zulkifli were taking cover behind a tree when the latter was shot in the face.
Zulkifli died in Mazlan's lap.
Mazlan said that just moments before the gunfight, he had shared a drink with Zulkifli from the same bottle.
"It was about 10am. When we heard noises coming from the front, we got into combat positions.
"Then one of the gunmen walked towards us, waving a white cloth.
"We thought he and his comrades wanted to surrender and held our fire.
"But the man suddenly turned around and ran away, and that was when the enemy started shooting at us," Mazlan said.
A few seconds later, he said, Zulkifli was shot.
"I held his body. His face was covered in blood.
"I said a prayer for him but he was already dead."
The gunfight lasted for an hour and when it stopped, another commando, Corporal Sabaruddin Daud, was found dead, while at least 12 gunmen were also killed.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were also visibly moved when they met the families of the slain policemen.
Najib held a brave front when he personally met the policemen who were involved in the Lahad Datu conflict.
Many times, the prime minister looked like he was trying hard to hold back tears as he shook hands with them.
Rosmah, however, cried when she hugged Noraziah and Rosiah Dahlan, the widow of Superintendent Ibrahim Lebar.