Palestinian electrical engineer killed in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: A 35-year-old Palestinian man was shot dead near his home on Saturday by two unidentified gunmen, police said.

The man, who was reported to be an electrical engineer and had lived in Kuala Lumpur for more than 10 years, was gunned down by two men on a motorbike who ambushed him and pumped more than 10 bullets into him, Xinhua news agency reported.

The victim was believed to be going to attend the morning prayer.

Palestinian Ambassador to Malaysia Anwar H. Al Agha identified the man as Fadi M. R. Albatsh, a mosque imam and also a university lecturer, according to Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times.

Citing CCTV footage, the report also said the two gunmen, both wearing helmets, arrived at the scene and waited for the victim for some 20 minutes before carrying out the attack.

The ambassador said Fadi was supposed to leave for Turkey to attend a conference later on Saturday. Hamas, the Palestinian political organisation, said in a statement that the victim was a Hamas member known for “his scientific innovation as he has attended many international conferences on energy in Japan, the UK and Finland”.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he learnt from police that Fadi was “an expert in electrical engineering and (building) rockets”, according to the New Straits Times.

“His killing could have some links with foreign intelligence agencies or he may also be considered a liability to nations unfriendly to Palestine,” Hamidi said, adding if necessary, Malaysian police may also seek the help of Interpol, Aseanpol and other related agencies.