REGIONAL: Newcastle medical students stabbed to death in Borneo

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TWO Newcastle University medical students have been stabbed to death in Borneo.

Fourth-year students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger , both 22, were on the Malaysian part of the island on attachment to a hospital in Kuching, the university’s acting vice-chancellor Professor Tony Stevenson said.

Reports from the island claim the Britons were attacked and killed in the street by a gang of four local men after a row in a bar in Kuching early this morning.

Prof Stevenson said i n a statement : “We were informed this morning of the very sad news that two of our fourth-year medical students working at a hospital in Kuching, Borneo, have been tragically killed.

“Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were on a six-week work placement, along with five other medical students, 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.

“Two of our members of staff are flying out to Kuching as soon as possible and we are working closely with the British high commissioner to support the other students and to co-ordinate their return to the UK.”

The Foreign Office said it was aware of the deaths and was providing consular assistance to the men’s families.

The Malaysian State News Agency Bernama reported that the attack happened at 4.15am in the Jalan Padungan area of Kuching in Sarawak province, in the west of the Malaysian part of Borneo.

Sarawak deputy police commissioner Datuk Dr Chai Khin Chung told the agency the fight broke out after an argument in a bar over the students being too noisy.

He added that the Britons had been due to finish their training at the local hospital on Friday and the four suspects are in custody.