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Burmese men accused of killing Britons paraded by Thai police

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Media captionThe two Burmese suspects were made to 'reconstruct' the killings on a Koh Tao beach

Two Burmese men who Thai police say have admitted killing British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller have appeared at a news conference.

The men, who appeared dressed in bike helmets and flak jackets, are accused of killing the pair on Koh Tao island.

Thailand's police commissioner has said DNA samples taken from Ms Witheridge's body matched those of the two men.

The bodies of Ms Witheridge, 23, and Mr Miller, 24, were found on the beach on 15 September with severe head injuries.

The two men - identified as "Saw" and "Win" - face charges of murder, rape and robbery, the country's national police chief, General Somyot Poompanmoung, said.

The pair are both from Myanmar, also known as Burma.

A reward of about £13,000 had been offered for information leading to arrests.

Inquest opened

For the news conference, the two suspects were taken to the beach on Koh Tao where the bodies were found, BBC Myanmar correspondent Jonah Fisher said.

Our correspondent said the pair re-enacted the alleged events of the night, with one of them holding a garden implement above his head and then showing how the fatal blows were apparently inflicted.

He said the pair are expected to appear before a court in Thailand early next week.

"The sense from the Thai police is they believe the DNA evidence is crucial, they have established the link between these two men and the body of Hannah Witheridge.

"They say that last night when presented with that evidence they confessed," our correspondent said.

The men wore motorcycle helmets and flak jackets at the news conference and during the re-enactment to protect them from angry residents, the AP news agency reported.

Image copyright Family photos
Image caption Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found close to bungalows where they had been staying

More than 100 officers have been involved in the investigation and have been collecting evidence and taking DNA samples from those working on Koh Tao.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Miller, from Jersey, was killed by severe blows to the head and drowning.

Mr Miller's funeral is due to take place later. In advance of the service, his family asked for privacy.

A statement from Ian, Sue and Michael Miller said: "We have been overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of support provided to us by so many here in Jersey and also by people far away.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Koh Tao is a popular destination for tourists

"We were also particularly touched by the vigil and prayers held by good people on Koh Tao."

An inquest which opened in Norwich earlier this week heard that Ms Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, died on the beach from "severe head injuries".

A full inquest will take place on 6 January.

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