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9 Thai army men charged with murdering 13 Chinese sailors on Mekong River

(Xinhua)

11:23, October 31, 2011




BANGKOK, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Thai police have pressed charges against a group of Thai army men in connection with the killing of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River earlier this month, the Bangkok Post reported Sunday.

The suspects, who were servicemen of a task force of the Third Army, reportedly turned themselves in on Friday after the issue of a arrest warrant by the police. They have been questioned by the police and are facing charges of murder and tampering of evidence. But they denied all the charges, according to the report.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who is in charge of security affairs and overseas national police, said that "solid evidence" suggested that the cargo ships where the 13 Chinese sailors were aboard were attacked by weapons fired from the Thai side. Meanwhile, a background check on the Chinese victims showed that they didn't have any convictions for drugs offences, he said.

Thai police chief Pol Gen Priewpan Damapong on Friday revealed the identities of the nine suspects and insisted that the army and the government were not behind the killing. He said further investigation is still underway.

Two cargo ships, Huaping and Yu Xing 8, were attacked on Oct. 5 on Mekong River near the golden triangle area and 13 Chinese sailors were killed.

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