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Malaysia police kill hostage taker at kindergarten
30 Malaysian children safe after 6-hour hostage standoff ends with police shooting captor
By The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) ' A machete-wielding man who took 30 children and four teachers hostage for six hours in a Malaysian kindergarten has died after being shot by police, an official said Friday.

None of the captives was harmed during the tense hostage drama Thursday in the southern city of Muar in Johor state.

Muar police Chief Mohammed Nasir Ramli said Loi Hui Chung died in a hospital Thursday night, five hours after being shot in the head by a single bullet.

Loi, 40, was unemployed and had been previously detained in drug-related cases, Nasir said. Police are investigating whether he was the person who attacked and injured children outside two other kindergartens in the area in the past two years, Nasir said.

During negotiations with police Thursday, Loi threatened to kill the children unless he was given a gun, said another police officer who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The officer said Loi was wielding a machete and a hammer when he barged into the kindergarten early in the morning, sparking a standoff with police.

Loi forced the hostages to go upstairs in the two-story building. Police special forces later managed to enter the ground floor and were heading up the stairs when Loi attacked them with his weapons and a fire extinguisher, the officer said. Police had no choice but to shoot Loi, he said.

The children had been heard singing in what was believed to be an attempt to calm Loi, Bernama news agency reported.

The Star newspaper quoted Loi's sister-in-law, who tried to persuade him to surrender, as saying he was mentally unstable and an aggressive person who often talked to himself.

Kindergarten assistant principal Khoo Choo Den told the New Straits Times that Loi told her to kill him with his hammer and even blindfolded her to give her courage to strike him but she couldn't do it. She said the children were calm during the ordeal.

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