May 13, 2016 / 12:32 PM / 2 years ago

Malaysia deports three foreign suspected militants

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia has deported three foreign suspected militants, two of them Russians allegedly involved with Islamic State and a Sri Lankan, the country’s police chief said on Friday.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has been on high alert since an armed attack by militants linked to Islamic State in Jakarta, the capital of neighboring Indonesia, in January, in which four militants and four others died.

The two Russian men, of Chechen origin, and the Sri Lankan were arrested in two operations in March and April, Malaysia’s inspector-general of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, said in a statement.

The Russians, aged 23 and 25, had previously been deported from Turkey before entering Malaysia in March.

“They had been arrested by Turkish authorities for alleged involvement in IS militant activities in Syria,” Khalid said, adding that the duo were deported on Friday.

A 42-year-old Sri Lankan technician who allegedly posted online death threats against the president and prime minister of the Indian Ocean island was detained on April 22.

The suspect was deported five days later, Khalid said, adding that he figured on the “most-wanted” list of the Sri Lankan authorities.

Since January 2015, Malaysian police have arrested more than 160 people suspected of being involved in militant activities, including seven believed to have been part of an IS cell.

In March, authorities said police foiled an attack to kidnap Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other senior ministers last year.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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