DNA tests point to suspects in Thai island murders

2014-10-03 11:22
Myanmar workers Saw, center left, and Win, center right, are escorted by a Thai police officers for a press conference in Koh Tao island, Surat Thani province, Thailand. (File, AP)

Myanmar workers Saw, center left, and Win, center right, are escorted by a Thai police officers for a press conference in Koh Tao island, Surat Thani province, Thailand. (File, AP)

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Bangkok - DNA tests on two suspects in the killing of two British tourists in southern Thailand matched those found on the victims' bodies, police said on Friday.

Two Myanmar migrant workers had confessed to the killing of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the island resort of Koh Tao late on Thursday.

The two were among three suspects, all migrant workers from Myanmar, who were in custody in connection with the killings.

Police General Somyot Phumphanmuang told reporters on Friday that police would now ask the court to issue an arrest warrant for the detained prisoners so they can be put through the judicial process.

The murdered tourists were found on 15 September on a beach in Koh Tao, 350km south of Bangkok.

The couple, both 24, suffered extensive injuries to the head and neck.

Police had earlier suspected two friends of the victims before DNA evidence cleared them.

Doubts about the efficiency of the Thai police investigation have circulated since the murders.

Commentators on social media have called for the DNA tests to be verified by international authorities.

"The evidence has confirmed that they are the murderers and they are not scapegoats," said Somyot, responding to the allegations.

"We got the guys. They are not a scapegoats," said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan in a separate news conference.

According to the British Foreign Office, in the past five years, 13 British tourists have been murdered in Thailand including the latest murders. More than 4 million Britons visited the country over the same period.

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