THE grieving fathers of two North-East medical students stabbed to death in Malaysia identified their sons' remains after they were flown home, an inquest heard.

Newcastle University students Aidan Brunger, of Kent, and Neil Dalton, of Ambergate, Derbyshire, were killed in Sarawak, while on a placement, on August 6.

The 22-year-olds' remains were repatriated on August 13, and today (Monday, August 18) an inquest into their deaths was formally opened by deputy coroner for Derby and South Derbyshire, Louise Pinder.

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During the brief hearing, Derbyshire Police's Detective Constable Sarah Fraser confirmed details of how the men died.

She said: "An incident happened in a bistro or cafe, following which Neil and Aidan were both stabbed and killed."

She added: "We are told they died on August 6, 2014, on Abel Road, Kuching, at 4.15am - although inquiries are still on-going."

Dc Fraser said the men's fathers had positively identified their sons' remains after they were flown back to the UK.

The pair were working at a local hospital in Kuching - an area popular with backpackers, when the attack happened.

Adjourning the inquest, Mrs Pinder said: "The investigation, both locally and abroad, continues and by September 30 we'll hopefully have further information and some decisions can be made."

Four local men arrested soon after the attack have apparently already admitted the students' killings, according to Malaysian Police.

Tests have shown three of the men had taken crystal meth. A fifth man, aged 55, was also arrested in connection with the attack last week.