News24

Malaysian police hunt 'chilli' fugitives

2013-01-10 13:49

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian police on Thursday shot and killed two of the seven suspected criminals who escaped custody this week by temporarily blinding a guard with chilli powder.

The escape on Monday of the men - whom police have called "dangerous criminals" - has prompted a large-scale manhunt in the northern state of Penang.

Abdul Rahim Hanafi, Penang's police chief, said two of the fugitives were shot dead in a gunfight with police after a high-speed car chase.

He said officers spotted the suspects in a car and ordered them to surrender but they sped off after crashing into a police vehicle.

Abdul Rahim said the chase ended after the suspects' car skidded into a river, adding that two men stepped out of the car and one of them, 31-year-old Mohamad Fairus Adam, opened fire at police.

"The police officers shot back and both suspects were hit," he was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.

The hunt for five other escapees is continuing after their daring break-out from a police van as they were being taken to a local court.

The detainees had staged a fight in the vehicle, prompting its driver to pull over.

When police opened the rear door to investigate, one officer had chilli powder thrown on him and three others were attacked and injured. The fugitives sped off in the police van before abandoning it nearby.

Some 250 police aided by tracker dogs and a helicopter were scouring the area near where the van was dumped.