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Reward offer in Thai murders probe

Police in Thailand are offering a reward of more than £13,000 in their bid to catch the killers of two British tourists, as a group of footballers were questioned by detectives investigating the brutal murders.

The bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were discovered on a beach on the tiny island of Koh Tao on September 15.

A bloodstained garden hoe, believed to be the murder weapon, was found nearby.

A group of Thai footballers are the latest people to be questioned by police amid fears that the hunt for the killers has stalled.

A spokesman for the Royal Thai Police confirmed that DNA samples were taken from "more than eight" footballers - who reportedly threw a late-night party at the nightclub where the victims spent their final hours - and officers were awaiting the results.

Police colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen said a reward of 700,000 baht - roughly £13,300 - was now being offered for information which leads to the arrests of the culprits.

"We're working around the clock," he said.

"We're trying to narrow our inquiries and collect more evidence. We're encouraging the public who many have information to come forward.

"We're checking DNA but this is not the only thing we are looking at to prosecute the suspects."

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Ms Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, died from head wounds, while Mr Miller, from Jersey, was killed by severe blows to the head and drowning.

Around 150 police officers were posted to Koh Tao as part of the murder investigation but detectives are apparently no closer to finding the killer.

Mr Miller's father, Ian, said earlier this week that he believes his son stepped in to help Miss Witheridge during an altercation.

He told the Daily Mail: "It has become clearer and clearer that it is quite likely David was stepping in to help a girl who was in trouble."

A group of Burmese migrants who were interviewed by police after bloodstains were found on their clothes have been eliminated from inquiries.

No matches were found between them and DNA found on Ms Witheridge and a cigarette butt at the scene.

Police had previously said they were looking for three Westerners who were seen playing a guitar near Sairee beach.

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