Two separate shootings rock South Thailand, claiming 5 victims

A shooting in Surat Thani claimed four victims, photo by Thai PBS.

Two separate shootings rocked South Thailand yesterday, claiming a total of five victims.

In Surat Thani province, an unidentified gunman shot four people dead at a house, including two former village heads and his wife. The gunman attacked the victims at a house in Khiri Rat Dikhom district.

Police identified three of the victims as former village headman Thammarong Nilniyom, Thammarong’s wife Nilthip, and another former village head named Pornsak Petchu, Thai PBS reported. The fourth victim was not identified.

Police found more than 90 spent shells from automatic weapons scattered around the house where the incident took place.

Police said that Thammarong had been shot and wounded before. The motive of the shooting is currently being investigated.

There was also an attack in South Thailand’s Narrathiwat province last night. A gunman shot dead a defence volunteer as he was returning home from a night prayer in a village in Tak Bai district. The victim, 51 year old Abdulroning Baelo, was shot at around 9.30pm, Bangkok Post reported.

Two men followed Abdulroning on another motorcycle, and the pillion rider fired four shots at him. Abdulroning was killed instantly, falling to the ground with his motorcycle.

Police were investigating whether the attack was due to a personal conflict, or related to insurgency.

South Thailand insurgency has its roots deeply embedded history.

The conflict started in 1948 when the three provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat were annexed by Thailand. Separatist groups argue that the region was once an independent sultanate and that they have been subjected to discrimination and forced assimilation by the Thai government.

Over 6,500 people died and almost 12,000 were injured between 2004 and 2015 in a formerly ethnic separatist insurgency, which has been taken over by hard-line jihadis and pitted them against both the Thai-speaking Buddhist minority and local Muslims who have a moderate approach or who support the Thai government.

Crime NewsSouth Thailand News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.