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Chinese tourist attacked over tour guide rivalry, suspect police

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PHUKET: Police are hunting four men who attacked a Chinese national on the streets of Phuket Town during the annual Vegetarian Festival (story here) last night.

Police believe that the men beat Guo Xing, 26 – to the ground with metal bars – under the presumption that he was an illegal Chinese tour guide. The Vegetarian Festival is renown for drawing large crowds of Chinese tourists to Phuket every year, and tensions between Chinese tour companies and local Thai guides remain taut (story here).

The attack took place in front of the Baan Bai Por apartment complex behind the Big One convenience store on Chaofa Road, near Suan Luang (Rama IX, also known as King’s Park), at about 5:45pm*.

“Mr Guo came to Phuket to visit his brother, who works with a tour company on the island,” Phuket City Police Superintendent Sermphan Sirikong told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

“He was hanging out with his brother in front of the building when four men rode up on motorcycles and attacked him with metal bars. The men quickly fled the scene.”

Mr Guo’s brother ran off to escape injury, Col Sermphan said. However, the colonel declined to name the brother or confirm whether or not he worked in Phuket as a tour guide.

“The attackers ignored the pleas from Mr Guo – and from people standing nearby – to stop,” Col Sermphan said.

Mr Guo was rushed to the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) Hospital in Rassada.

“Mr Guo is still in hospital under observation, as he suffered multiple heavy blows to the head.”

Police are confident they will arrest the attackers.

“Those men were not afraid of being seen. We can identify the suspects and will get them,” Col Sermphan assured.

“We believe the attack was because of a conflict about Chinese tour guides operating in Phuket Town.”

* The original story stated that the attack took place at about 7:30pm.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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