Malaysia releases sketches of suspects in Fadi al-Batsh killing

Suspects in killing of Hamas engineer 'most likely born in the Middle East or in the West', Malaysian police say.

    Malaysian police have released facial composite sketches of two men suspected of killing a Hamas member in Kuala Lumpur.

    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.

    Alerts have been put out for the suspects at all the country's exit points, police said on Monday.

    Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip, accused Israel's Mossad spy agency of assassinating al-Batsh. Israel dismissed the charge.

    The computer-generated photographs of the suspects are based on descriptions by witnesses, police chief Mohamad Fuzi Bin Harun told reporters.

    'European or Middle Eastern'

    They show two light-skinned suspects who may be European or Middle Eastern. Both men are about 180cm with sturdy builds, the police chief said, according to a recording of his comments heard by Reuters news agency.

    Both suspects are on a high-powered, dark-coloured motorbike which could be a BMW or a Kawasaki. Both are carrying backpacks and have on dark jackets and helmets.

    The photos showed one suspect wearing a helmet and glasses.

    A forensic examination found that the victim died of multiple injuries to his head and body.

    "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 suggested that al-Batsh was killed as part of an internal Palestinian dispute.

    Al-Batsh's family has requested for his body to be buried in Gaza.

    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.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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