The suspects were brought to a news conference at Koh Tao on Friday to "reconstruct" the killings.
The suspects were brought to a news conference at Koh Tao on Friday to "reconstruct" the killings (representational image).Reuters file

Two British nationals were found brutally murdered near a beach on an island in southern Thailand on Monday.

According to a report in Huffington Post, the semi-naked bodies of the young tourists - a man (24) and a woman (23) - were found in Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, just before 5 am local time.

The youngsters were apparently beaten to death, while the woman is thought to have been raped as well. A blood-covered garden hoe, presumably used as the weapon for the murders, was also found from the area.

"The man was chopped in the back and on the side of his head, while the woman was chopped in her face," the report quoted police Col. Prachum Ruangthong. "It's very gruesome."

CCTV camera footage shows that the duo, who were staying in the same guest house, attended a beach party on Sunday night till 1 am. It was a full moon night and 50 other people were also present at the party.

According to the police, the woman is from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and the man from Jersey, Channel Islands. The incident took place in Koh Tao, which is 410 kilometers (250 miles) south of Bangkok.

Police investigations suggest the victims travelled to the island separately and had met during their stay in the same guest house. The woman had travelled to the island along with three other friends.

The police is checking all possible CCTV camera footage and is also talking to witnesses. While there are no immediate suspects, the police has sealed the exit routes so that no one leaves the island. However, there is a possibility that the criminals have already left the place.

According to reports, Koh Tao, an island in the Surat Thani province, is perhaps the most popular diving destination in Thailand. It has about 2,000 residents and the locals are mostly dependent on tourism for their daily bread.

The island is relatively quieter than the neighbouring islands and the "full moon" parties there are a huge attraction for locals as well as tourists.

The locals are reportedly outraged with the double murder and are cooperating with the police to help them solve the case.

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