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Sabah cops shoot dead man who held child hostage, hurt her

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KOTA KINABALU: A man in Sabah held a toddler at knifepoint for almost five hours, gashing her neck before he tried to throw her out a window on the fourth storey of a block of flats.

A police sharpshooter shot the man dead and saved the girl.

It ended the five-hour hostage situation in the Malaysian state which started at about noon in the Taman Telipok Ria flats, about 29km from Kota Kinabalu, on Sunday.

The unidentified girl was rushed to the Likas Women and Children's Hospital. Sabah police commissioner Omar Mammah said the girl had cuts to her neck, but believes she will be alright.

Mr Omar said the unidentified man made no demands during the stand-off. Police were informed at about 4pm after residents initially tried to disarm the man and save the child.

Mr Omar said the suspect was holding a knife and had grabbed a child who was playing at a corridor along the fourth storey.

He then entered a unit where an elderly man was praying in a room. The suspect told the man not to come out and then sat in the hall with the child.

Residents broke down the main door but the man threatened to harm the child. When the police arrived, the man refused to talk and eventually tried to throw the child from the kitchen window.

The police decided to shoot at this point, Mr Omar added.

Police have yet to establish the suspect's background and believe he was either of unsound mind or was on drugs. The man, in his 30s, was not known to the residents. - THE STAR