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Britons shot dead near bridge over River Kwai


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Britons shot dead near bridge over River Kwai

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A gunman has shot dead a British couple near the famed "Bridge on the River Kwai", a popular tourist site in western Thailand, police say.

The couple got into a noisy argument at a small restaurant near Kanchanaburi, 125 km (80 miles) west of Bangkok, in the early hours of Thursday, police said.

The man who shot them tried to mediate, then got into a loud argument with the couple himself before pulling out a gun and pumping three bullets into the woman and two into the man, Police Major Chavalit Piakaew told Reuters.

The couple died en route to hospital and the gunman escaped, he said.

"The male tourist was apparently upset by the way other people in the shop looked at his girlfriend and his jealousy got out of control," Chavalit said.

The British embassy declined to identify the couple.

"We can confirm that two British nationals were killed in Kanchanaburi province early this morning. We are notifying their next of kin," an embassy spokesman said.

Violent crime against foreign tourists is rare in Thailand, which lures 10 million visitors a year to its pristine beaches, temples and vibrant nightlife.

Thousands of tourists, many of them World War Two veterans, flock each year to Kanchanaburi, site of the notorious Thailand-Burma "death railway" and a Commonwealth war cemetery.

The bridge over the river was built by Allied prisoners of Japanese forces and immortalised in the 1957 film "Bridge on the River Kwai".

It was bombed during the war by Allied planes trying to disrupt Japanese supply lines.


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