PETALING JAYA - The identities of the two British medical students who were stabbed to death by four men in Kuching have been disclosed in a heartfelt posting on their university's Facebook page.
Newcastle University acting vice-chancellor Prof Tony Stevenson said in the post:
"Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were on a six-week work placement along with five other medical students to put the skills they had learnt during their time here at the university into practice."
"This has come as a huge shock to us all and our thoughts are with their families and friends at this very difficult time."
Prof Stevenson added that two university staff members were flying to Kuching and would work with the British High Commissioner to provide support to the other students there.
They will also arrange for the bodies of Dalton and Brunger to be flown home.
The two were found murdered at 4.15am on Wednesday with stab wounds on their chest and back following an early morning quarrel with several men in Abell Road.
A restaurant worker who witnessed the incident alerted the police.
AFP quoted Sarawak's deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Chai Khin Chung as saying that all four suspects had admitted to the crime.
SAC Chai said initial investigations indicated the incident started when the two Britons, who had been drinking, began arguing loudly between themselves in a bar.
The four suspects, who had also been drinking, confronted the medical students and told them to be quiet, he added.
"One of the British students slapped one of the men, turned over a table and walked out," he said.
When the students left the pub on foot, the suspects pursued them in a car. One of them got out of the vehicle and attacked the duo.
At 6am the same day, the police arrested three of the suspects at their homes and seized the car, a knife and mobile phones. They have been remanded for seven days.
The fourth suspect was detained at 4.45pm and will be remanded today.
The main suspect is a 23-year-old fishmonger. One of the suspects is a 29-year-old mechanic while two others, aged 19 and 35, are unemployed.
Two of them have previous convictions for a drug-related offence and armed robbery.