Mon, Nov 17, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Malaysia exhumes skeletal remains of UK airman

ANTI-COLONIALMalay communists launched a decade-long insurgency against UK rule after World War II that led to the deaths of 10,000 people

AP , KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia’s military has recovered the suspected remains of nine UK airmen and three Malaysians who died when a plane crashed in a jungle during a communist insurgency 58 years ago, a news report said yesterday.

Results of DNA testing to confirm the identities of the skeletal remains are expected to be ready in a month, Zaidun Kamari, director of the Malaysian University of Science Hospital, told the Star newspaper.

On Thursday, Malaysian military personnel exhumed the remains that soldiers and indigenous tribesmen had found in makeshift graves in a jungle in eastern Kelantan state last month, the Star reported.

The UK air force crew and three Malaysians — one policeman, one civilian and one indigenous tribesman — were killed when their plane crashed into a steep hill during a mission to locate communist strongholds on Aug. 25, 1950. UK troops who reached the site buried the bodies hastily before retreating to avoid a confrontation with communist guerillas.

The remains will be buried at a Kuala Lumpur military cemetery, the report said.

Hospital officials contacted yesterday declined to comment and army representatives could not immediately be reached.

Communists launched a nationalist fight against colonial rule in Malaya, as Malaysia was then known, after World War II. Some 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the decade-long insurgency, including UK, Australian, New Zealand, Fijian, Gurkha and other UK Commonwealth troops.

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