Thailand has denied reports that bodies of non-Asians have been buried in mass graves where hundreds of victims of the tragedy have been interred. A number of western countries have asked Thai authorities for an explanation of the claims. An official at one site said that the grave there was full of Asians only, most of whom were Thais.
It is thought almost 5,300 people died in Thailand including 2,500 foreigners. Authorities have been trying to balance the need to bury corpses quickly with identifying the remains. But it is an immense task and experts from other countries have flown in to help.
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has visited the region to see the work in progress for himself. He has revealed that at least 440 British people have died or disappeared in the catastrophe. He says some foreign victims might have to be buried temporarily in Thailand.
Sweden has set up an emergency consulate in the Thai resort of Phuket to help its citizens caught up in the tragedy. The country appears to be the worst affected among western nations – it is feared the Swedish death toll could eventually exceed one thousand.