British family beaten unconscious in Thailand

Bangkok, April 28 (IANS) Three members of a British family were punched to the ground, kicked in the face and knocked unconscious in an attack at a Thai beachside resort, media reports said on Thursday.

The holiday-makers, including a middle-aged woman, were attacked by several men during the Thai new year celebrations in Hua Hin, a coastal town about three hours south of capital Bangkok that is popular with older Europeans, The Guardian reported.

Although the attack occurred on 13 April, the video only recently made it on to the internet.

CCTV footage posted online showed a vicious and prolonged assault in a street, which starts when a young British man briefly touches shoulders with a Thai man carrying a bottle, who appears to push him to the ground.

The British woman takes the Thai man to the side and an argument ensues. Several Thai men punch the family until all three are on the ground. When they try to rise, they are kicked in the face and left unconscious before onlookers come to their aid.

The family are believed to be still in Thailand but leaving soon.

Local media said on Thursday that police had arrested three men in their 20s and 30s who were charged. Reports said a fourth was still at large.

The victims were said to be a man in his 40s and his parents, both in their 60s.

“The perpetrators said they were drunk. They have also apologised to the family,” Police Colonel Chaiyakorn Siradecho told the Thai news website Khaosod English.

The website said the younger man had several stitches on his head, while the father had a head wound with swelling. The mother’s head injury had left her with occasional headaches, it added.

During the Thai new year’s Songkran festival, also known as the water festival, major streets are turned into a giant water fight for three days as people party continuously. The water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal.

The British embassy had launched a safety campaign to make sure tourists were aware of the dangers. Car accidents spike during the festival and revellers are often drunk — but attacks on tourists are rare.

–IANS

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