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Two British Tourists Murdered With Hoe on Thailand's Koh Tao: Cops

Thai police launched a murder investigation after two British tourists were found brutally murdered on the beach of an idyllic island of Koh Tao.

Two British tourists were murdered on a beach on a Thai island, authorities said. The 24-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were found stripped naked and bloodied the morning after a beach party on Koh Tao, local police chief Jakkrapan Kaewkhao told NBC News. He said deep wounds to their heads and faces appeared to have been inflicted with a garden hoe, which was found with blood on its handle next to their clothes about 40 yards away. Kaewkhao said medical officials were investigating whether the woman was raped. Several tourists posted on social media the island was on "lockdown," with no one allowed to leave by ferry in the aftermath of the incident.

The U.K. Foreign Office said it was "urgently seeking information" from local authorities. Koh Tao – which translates to “Turtle Island” – is just eight square miles and a popular tourist destination for scuba divers. Lonely Planet says the island has "turquoise waters" where "diving enthusiasts cavort with sharks and rays in a playground of tangled neon coral." There is a "pumpin’ bar scene that rages on until dawn," it adds. Koh Tao is 20 miles from Koh Phangan, which is famous for its full moon parties. According to Kaewkhao, the bodies were found in early Monday behind a rock. Cops are now reviewing surveillance video and DNA evidence.

- Alexander Smith