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British failed to comply with the agreement. They intend to occupying Tambunan which already handed over to Mat Salleh through the agreement. Because of this, Mat Salleh no longer trust British. Mat Salleh questioned British action and threatened to liberate Sandakan and Labuan from British if British want to attack Tambunan.

On 31st December 1899, the fort in Tambunan was attacked by British who wants to take and colonize that area. 

A team consists of 140 soldiers led by Captain Harrington together with a large artillery attack Mat Salleh's village until the battle lasted for a month. The boom of artillery attack caused some villages which was surrounds with Mat Salleh's fortress at Tibaba destroyed and conquered by British.

On 15th January 1900, Murut Tega'as and Mat Sator, who was Mat Salleh assistant's fortress were destroyed. It caused the remaining of Mat Salleh's followers which was consists of Bajau and two fortress only.

On 31st January 1900, British fired towards Mat Salleh's fort endlessly. Relentless attacks cause Mat Salleh was killed when the shot out of a hole in the stronghold. According to the story, Mat Salleh was shot when he does not wear a shirt because at that time he took wudu' in a preparation for prayers.

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