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Malaysia

Malaysia releases images of suspects in murder of Palestinian

Police say they are unsure whether the killers have left the country but have posted their pictures at all exit points

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 10:29pm

Malaysian police on Monday released computer generated images of two men suspected of gunning down a Palestinian man in Kuala Lumpur, adding that alerts have been put out for them at all the country’s exit points.

Two men on a motorcycle fired at least 14 shots at Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, killing him on the spot.

Hamas, an Islamist political group that rules the Gaza Strip, accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of assassinating Batsh, who they say was a member of their group. Israel dismissed the charge.

The images of the suspects are based on descriptions from witnesses, police chief Mohamad Fuzi bin Harun told reporters.

They show two light-skinned suspects who may be European or Middle Eastern. Both men are about 180cm tall with sturdy builds, the police chief said.

Both suspects were on a high-powered, dark-coloured motorbike which could have been a BMW or a Kawasaki. Both were carrying backpacks and wore dark jackets and helmets – one with glasses.

A forensic examination found that the victim died from multiple injuries to his head and body. Fourteen bullets were found.

“We will send some of the bullets collected to our analysis experts to determine what kind of weapon was used in this heinous killing,” Mohamad Fuzi said.

He said they were not sure whether the men were still in Malaysia.

“We can’t close off our exits and we don’t have any other information apart from the photofit,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Saturday the suspects were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed claims of Mossad’s role in the murder and said it was likely that Batsh was killed as part of an internal Palestinian dispute.

The scientist’s widow, Enas al-Batsh, spent two hours on Monday at the hospital holding his body. Batsh had three young children and had lived in Malaysia for 10 years.

Abdul Rahim Shehab, a friend of the scientist, said the Palestinian representative in Malaysia was making arrangements for his body to be sent home for burial.

Mossad has been accused of several high-profile killings involving Palestinians around the world, although Israel has consistently denied the accusations.

The spy agency was accused of executing the murder of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his hotel room in Dubai in 2010. In 2016, Hamas blamed Mossad for the killing of a Tunisian national it described as one of its drone experts.