KOTA KINABALU - Police have defused a tense hostage situation that took place over two hours on Jalan Damai here Wednesday night when a man held a woman at knifepoint after a failed break-in attempt.
During the nerve-wracking standoff with the police beginning at about 7.30pm Wednesday, the shirtless man held on to the woman from behind while holding a knife to her neck.
Police said initial reports indicate that the man had broken into a house at Taman Istimewa here but was spotted by the house owner.
The suspect, whom police say is a foreigner in his late 20s, then grabbed a knife and entered a nearby house where he took the woman hostage.
Police arriving at the scene after receiving a call regarding the break-in attempt found themselves facing off with the man holding the woman hostage.
After refusing to heed the policemen's calls to let the woman go, the man dragged her about two kilometres from the housing area to Jalan Damai.
Police cordoned off both ends of the road by 8.30pm as negotiators attempted to calm the man down and persuade him to release his hostage.
When their attempts proved unsuccessful, a few police officers posing as medical personnel approached, saying they wanted to treat the woman.
After he allowed them to approach, the police officers then took the man by surprise and overpowered the man at 9.35pm.
Police say the woman suffered no external injuries but was badly shaken by the incident.
She has since been taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.