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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

New photo of suspect in Hamas engineer murder released by Malaysia

Palestinians have blamed Israel for Fadi Al Batsh's death in Kuala Lumpur

<p>This image released by Royal Malaysia Police shows a suspect of killing of a Palestinian man during a press conference at police headquarter in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday. Malaysian police have released the photo of one of the two assailants who gunned down a Palestinian engineer this past weekend, and say the duo could still be in the country. Royal Malaysia Police via AP /&nbsp;April 25, 2018</p>
<p>This image released by Royal Malaysia Police shows a suspect of killing of a Palestinian man during a press conference at police headquarter in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday. Malaysian police have released the photo of one of the two assailants who gunned down a Palestinian engineer this past weekend, and say the duo could still be in the country. Royal Malaysia Police via AP /&nbsp;April 25, 2018</p>

Malaysian police have released a new image of one of the two men suspected of shooting dead a Hamas militant in Kuala Lumpur, as they said the pair were still at large in the country.

Two men on a motorcycle shot Fadi Al Batsh, an engineering lecturer at a Malaysian university, as he was on his way to a mosque early on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Inspector-General of the Royal Malaysia Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said investigators found a motorcycle abandoned near the murder scene and were able to trace a photo of one of the suspects.

The suspects are believed to have entered Malaysia in late January but it is not known what their nationalities are or from where they had travelled, the police chief told reporters.

"We believe the suspects are still in the country," he said.

"We have yet to identify them but we suspect that they used fake identification either when entering the country or when they were here."

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Malaysian police had earlier released computer-generated images of the two suspects, who witnesses described as well-built and light-skinned, possibly Middle Eastern or European.

The new photo shows a light-skinned man with dark, wavy hair and a prominent goatee.

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

Hamas, a militant group sworn to Israel's destruction, described Al Batch as a "commander" in its military wing and accused Israel of assassinating him.

Israel has long been suspected of involvement in a series of assassination attempts on the lives of Hamas commanders, many of them outside of Gaza and the West Bank. Israeli officials have denied the country was behind the attack, saying that it is regularly accused of such plots even when they are not involved.

The police chief said the killing appeared "very professionally done" but declined to comment on reports that it was a Mossad operation or that it was carried out by trained assassins.

Al Batsh was a lecturer at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, specialising in power engineering, according to the university.

His body was due to be returned to Gaza via Cairo on Wednesday evening, after a funeral ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Palestine's ambassador to Malaysia Anwar Al Agha told Reuters.

He was given a big send-off on Wednesday in the Malaysian capital before his corpse was flown to Egypt to then be transported to Gaza for burial.

Hundreds of mourners marched through Kuala Lumpur under Palestinian flags accompanying a van holding the body, as they carried placards showing the victim's face and chanting "God is greatest".

The remains were then carried to a mosque, where special prayers were performed before about 500 mourners.

"Every Palestinian who has heard of this assassination is saddened and shocked," Muslim Imran, chairman of the Palestinian Cultural Organisation of Malaysia, told the crowd.

"This crime, I believe, is another reflection of the nature of the Israeli occupation. They carry out crimes, massacres, not only in Palestine but also in the rest of the world."

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