Malaysian children safe after hostage-taker shot

2011-07-07 11:05

Muar, Malaysia – Malaysian police today shot in the head a man who took 30 pre-school children and four teachers hostage at a kindergarten, ending a dramatic seven-hour standoff.

Authorities said all the children and their teachers were rescued unharmed after a sharpshooter ended the crisis in southern Malaysia with a single shot.

“We have ended the hostage taking. The children and teachers are safe. The hostage-taker armed with a hammer and machete has been taken to a local hospital,” a local police official said on condition of anonymity.

Witnesses said the children were calm and showed no fear as they emerged from the building, singing songs led by their teachers and walking into the waiting arms of their cheering parents who hugged them tightly.

Johor deputy police chief Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman told reporters that the hostage-taker was alive but in a critical condition.

The children and teachers have been taken to hospital for medical checks.

Police took action after numerous attempts to secure a surrender – from police negotiators, a local psychiatrist, and desperate family members – all failed.

Heavily armed police had surrounded the two-storey bungalow that houses the kindergarten, in Muar town in southern Johor state, and tried to coax the hostage-taker to free the children.

Police said they had also brought in a dozen members of the elite Special Action Unit from the capital Kuala Lumpur, who are trained for anti-terror operations and are skilled sharp-shooters.

Muar was also the scene in March last year of another kindergarten siege when a man armed with a hammer barged into a school and bludgeoned three six-year-olds who were left with head injuries.

Some 20 children at the school were eating breakfast when that attack happened. The 45-year-old kindergarten operator was also injured in the incident.

The New Straits Times newspaper said that the same man was responsible for both the March incident and the current hostage situation but police were not immediately able to confirm the report.

The Star newspaper said the man had told police negotiators to give him a gun or he would kill the children.

Frustrated over the prolonged crisis, family members began shouting over the fence of the compound, appealing for the man to surrender.

The Star English-language daily said that two police trucks had rolled into the kindergarten compound and that two ambulances were on standby during the crisis. 

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.