KUCHING - Two British medical students were stabbed to death after a quarrel with four local men, just days before their practical training at a local hospital was due to end.
The victims, both male, aged 22 and 23, were found lying about 20m apart in Abell Road at 4.15am with stab wounds in the chest and back.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.
A quarrel had taken place between the students and the locals while both parties were drinking at a pub, initial investigations revealed.
The two groups had been drinking at different pubs earlier before they continued their drinking at another bar, said Sarawak Deputy Commissioner of Police DCP Datuk Dr Chai Khin Chung.
"At the second pub, the four suspects sat nearby and noticed the two students arguing.
"So these four told them not to be so noisy and a quarrel ensued," he told reporters at state police headquarters yesterday afternoon.
After that, the students left the pub on foot but the four suspects pursued them in a car.
About 80m away from the pub, one of the suspects got out of the car and attacked the victims.
A restaurant worker who witnessed the crime called the police.
At 6am, police arrested three of the suspects at their homes and seized the car, a knife, mobile phones. They have been remanded for seven days. The fourth suspect was arrested at 4.45pm and will be remanded today.
The case is considered solved with the arrests and recovery of exhibits, DCP Chai said, adding that the suspects had confessed and were being investigated for murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
The main suspect is a 23-year-old fishmonger. One of the suspects is a 29-year-old mechanic while two others are unemployed, aged 19 and 35. Two of them have previous convictions for a drug-related offence and armed robbery.
DCP Chai said the victims had arrived here in June. The training was scheduled to end tomorrow and they were supposed to return home after that.