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Tourists in hospital after attack

Police arrested a soldier yesterday for taking part in a wild gang attack on three British tourists as they ate at a food stall in Nakhon Sawan on Sunday morning.

Published on July 20, 2007

Thomas Donald Patrick suffered a cracked skull after he and two friends were attacked by about 30 men in Nakhon Sawan, Police Col Pranom Manmuang said.

A group of about 30 Thai men, including a soldier, began kicking and punching the three Britons as they dined at a roadside food stall on Sunday morning, Pranom said.

Patrick and two other men - William Paul Stone and Francis Benjamin Peter - were taken to a hospital. But the same group of attackers stormed the hospital room and continued to beat them until police arrived, Pranom said.

Pranom said Patrick's condition was stable, and the two other Britons were slightly injured.

Responding to questions about the attack, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said the incident must be thoroughly investigated by police and the army.

"I believe it will not affect the image of the Thai Army as it was more of an isolated incident that involved individuals. The Thai Army does not encourage their men to act like hooligans," he said.

Police yesterday arrested and charged Sgt Chinaphong Prakobketkorn and another man, Nattapan Jirapong, with assault. The suspects face a maximum seven years in jail if found guilty.

Police were searching for other suspects.

Associated Press,

The Nation

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