Scrapped beer festival in Malaysia had been targeted by militants, say police

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KUALA LUMPUR: Militants planned to sabotage an annual beer festival cancelled by the authorities in Kuala Lumpur, who originally cited "political sensitivities" for the move, police said yesterday.

On Monday, the authorities scrapped the two-day event, now in its sixth year, after an Islamist party objected on the grounds that it could lead to criminal acts, rape and free sex.

Around 6,000 people had been expected to attend the Better Beer Festival, according to posts on Facebook by the organisers and domestic news reports.

Protests against events considered "Western" and un-Islamic are common in Muslim-majority Malaysia, and are usually led by the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and conservative Islamist non-governmental organisations.

"There was information that exposed plans by militants who would carry out sabotage on the festival, because it is deemed as something that goes against their struggles," said Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun. "To avoid any incident beyond our control, the police had to be proactive..." he added in a brief statement.- REUTERS

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