The Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) have sent more than 200 personnel and four Agusta combat helicopters to help in the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations for the seven Orang Asli pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tohoi in Gua Musang, Kelantan who have been missing since Aug 23.

Armed Forces chief, Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said ATM were called in to help in the operations conducted by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) since Sept 1.

"We have assigned personnel, helicopters and the K9 unit to assist in the SAR operations to find the seven missing Orang Asli children and the Orang Asli villagers themselves are helping too."

He said this to Bernama after a guest appearance on the 'Hello Malaysia' programme over Bernama TV, here, today.

Zulkifeli said ATM were tasked with finding the missing children in areas where there was a chance the victims could be, such as the jungles.

On Aug 23, seven Orang Asli pupils comprising six girls and a boy, aged seven to 11 years, were reported missing after they ran away from their school hostel as they were afraid of being punished by their teacher after they were found bathing in the river without permission.

Besides the ATM and PDRM, the operations also involve the Fire and Rescue Department, Rela (People's Volunteer Corps), Civil Defence Department and the Orang Asli Development Department.