Fifteen drug smugglers died after a gunfight with Royal Thai Army soldiers in Chiang Mai late last night.
Maj Gen Suparerk Sathapornpol, commander of the Pha Muang Task Force, revealed this morning that his soldiers clashed with the bandits in tambon Mon Pin, between Ban Pa Kha and Ban Khob Dong.
Patrol soldiers spotted a group of about 20 men trudging through the forest from the Myanmar border and ordered them to stop, reported Bangkok Post.
The racketeers responded to the request with gunfire. The shooting continued for about ten minutes before the gunfire went silent. The troops stood down and observed the area throughout Wednesday night and moved in to check the sight at dawn.
Soldiers searched the area and found 15 dead men and 29 bags containing crystal methamphetamine or ice. Soldiers also found a Kabine rifle and a hand grenade at the scene.
The Pha Muang Task Force is in charge of overseeing the 933-kilometre-long common border with Myanmar and the Lao PDR, covering the six northern Thai provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Uttaradit and Phitsanuloke. The Naresuan Task Force is in charge of the Tak and Mae Hong Son provinces. Both are under the Third Army Region.
The gunfight follows another gun incident in the north of Thailand.
A border patrol sergeant in Thailand’s northeast province of Khon Kaen killed his colleague on Monday by shooting him five times. The incident happened at the Border Patrol Police Division Region 2 compound.
The culprit, 49 year old Sergeant Major Chuchart Pluakkhiao, shot and killed 44 year old Sergeant Major Pichit Saenkan, according to the Khon Kaen provincial police commander.
Chuchart then started walking around the compound with his rifle, and the police team shot him in the thigh to stop him from harming anyone else, Sanook reported.
Police are now investigating the incident.
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