Malaysia releases images of suspects in murder of Palestinian engineer

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By Middle East Affairs

Malaysian police released Monday computer-generated photos of two men they suspect assassinated a Palestinian engineer, Reuters reported. The police also put out alerts for the suspects at Malaysia’s exit points.

Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, was exiting a mosque in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday when two men on motorcycle fired at least 14 shots at him. He died on the spot.

Police chief Mohamad Fuzi Bin Harun told reporters that the photographs are based on witness descriptions.

In a recording of the chief that Reuters obtained, he says the photos “show two light-skinned suspects who may be European or Middle Eastern. Both men are about 180 cm with sturdy builds.”

A Royal Malaysia Police handout of a computer generated mugshot of one of the two men suspected of gunning down a Palestinian man in Kuala Lumpur released April 23, 2018. Royal Malaysia Police/Handout via REUTERS

A Royal Malaysia Police handout of a computer generated mugshot of one of the two men suspected of gunning down a Palestinian man in Kuala Lumpur released April 23, 2018. Royal Malaysia Police/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters said both suspects were on a high-powered, dark-colored motorbike, possibly a BMW or a Kawasaki, and they both had backpacks and dark jackets and helmets.

Forensics experts found 14 bullets on Batsh’s 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.

Reuters said it’s unknown whether the suspects are still in Malaysia.

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

However, on Saturday Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was reported as saying the suspects were believed to be Europeans and linked to a foreign intelligence agency.

Hamas, the armed Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, claimed Batsh was a member and accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of assassinating him, which Israel denies. Mossad is often blamed for Palestinian assassinations.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Batsh was “not a saint,” and that he worked on building rockets. He insinuated that Batsh was killed by Hamas as a sort of settling of accounts for an unidentified reason.

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