KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Two British medical students were stabbed to death in Malaysia following a confrontation with a group of locals while drinking in a bar, media reports citing police said on Wednesday.
The bodies of the two Newcastle University students were found lying in a road in Kuching, capital of the state of Sarawak on Borneo island, early Wednesday morning with stab wounds, The Star newspaper reported.
The university issued a statement identifying the two men as Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22.
It said they were on a six-week work placement in a local hospital in the former British colony "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," said acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Stevenson.
After the quarrel in the bar, the Britons left but were pursued by the group of locals and attacked, The Star quoted Sarawak deputy state police chief Chai Khin Chung as saying.
Police have arrested three of four suspects and confiscated a knife, Chai said.
"We are looking for the fourth suspect. The main suspect, aged 23, is in custody," he said.
A Kuching police staff member confirmed the media accounts to AFP but declined to comment further.
"We are aware of the death of two British nationals in Malaysia on August 5," a British Foreign Office spokesman told AFP in London, adding it was providing consular assistance to their families.
Malaysia is generally a safe country for foreigners but some recent incidents have sullied that image.
Malaysian police in early June found the body of 34-year-old British tourist Gareth Huntley on the resort island of Tioman, about a week after he went missing on a nature hike.
They are yet to announce the cause of death.
Last month, a court sentenced to death a Malaysian shopkeeper for the killing of French tourist Stephanie Foray in May 2011, also on Tioman.