Australian killed in Thai robbery: police

Bangkok - An Australian woman has been stabbed to death in an attempted bag snatch on the Thai resort island of Phuket, police said Thursday.

Michelle Elizabeth Smith, 59, suffered a knife wound to her chest after two men on a motorcycle tried to rob her late Wednesday near her hotel in Phuket town, the authorities said.

She was part of a group of tour operators visiting the island. One of her travel companions was hospitalised after suffering a cut to her arm.

"Police are compiling evidence, such as closed-circuit television footage, in which we can see the attackers' faces clearly, to seek court arrest warrants," a Phuket police officer who declined to be named said by telephone.

The death is another blow to Thailand's tourist-friendly image, coming less than a week after two Canadian sisters were found dead in their hotel room on nearby Phi Phi island, showing signs of an extreme toxic reaction.

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