Two unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead a Palestinian engineer Saturday as he was walking to a mosque for dawn prayers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian police and the political group Hamas said.
"Two men on a motorcycle fired ten shots at the victim killing him on the spot", said Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim in a statement.
Palestine's ambassador to Malaysia Anwar Al Agha later identified the victim as Palestinian Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, but declined to say if he was a member of Hamas. It said closed-circuit television showed him targeted by assassins who had waited for him for nearly 20 minutes.
Batash's family said that he was supposed to fly from Malaysia to Turkey on Sunday for a science conference on energy.
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 global conferences on energy in Japan, the United Kingdom and Finland".
"His killing could have some links with foreign intelligence agencies or he may also be considered a liability to nations "unfriendly" to Palestine." he said when officiating the opening of Bangunan Giatmara here. He said police were investigating all angles, including terrorism.
They demanded that the Malaysian authorities conduct a comprehensive and rapid investigation before the assassins flee the country.
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The Israeli government had no comment.
Malaysia is looking into the possible involvement of foreign agents in the killing of a Palestinian private university lecturer in front of a condominium in Setapak early this morning.
The Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but has never confirmed such operations.
He received his Ph D degree from the University of Malaya in 2015 and was a senior lecturer at the British Malaysian Institute.
Besides his Hamas affiliation, al-Batsh was also a cousin of Khaled al-Batsh, a senior official in the Islamic Jihad militant group, who accused Mossad of the assassination, without providing evidence. Hamas officials didn't disclose Mr.al-Batash's role in the Islamist movement or how he was assassinated but said he was a researcher in "the field of energy".
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh hinted that Hamas will internationalize its terror campaign against Israel following the assassination of a Hamas drone expert in Malaysia.