Three detained for Thai marine deaths

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Thai Defense Minister, Thammarak Isarangkura na Ayudhya, announced the arrest of three persons suspected of involvement in the deaths of two marines in Thailand's troubled southern region.

The two marines were detained and subsequently stabbed and beaten to death by villagers in Narathiwat province. This was seen as retaliation for an attack on a tea shop where people in Tanyong Limo village believed the soldiers had been involved.

The plain-clothed marine officers, Sub-Lieutenant Vinai Nakhabut and Petty Officer Khamthon Thongeiat, were detained by youths who suspected them of being involved in a recent shooting. They were tied up and held at a local school; their brutal deaths did not occur until after villages had demanded Malasian media cover the event. A subsequent rumour that troops would attack to release the hostages led to the killing.