Army ranger shot dead in Thailand’s Deep South

Photo via Thai Rath

A volunteer army ranger was shot dead at a grocery store in southern Thailand’s insurgency zone on Sunday.

Two assailants arrived at the store on a motorbike. One of them entered the shop and fatally shot 38 year old Ilfun Yuso while he was helping out at his wife’s grocery store in Pattani province before fleeing on the same bike.

Officers from Sai Buri Police Station travelled to the store in Manang Da Lam subdistrict at 8.30pm with soldiers and forensic officers.

Police collected fingerprint samples and bullet casings for forensic examination to see whether the assailants are linked to any criminal groups in the area. Witnesses were summoned to the station for questioning.

CCTV pictures the criminals before and after the crime and should help the police to track them down for prosecution, they said.

The deceased was a military ranger under the 4407th Scout Ranger Company and 44th Ranger Forces Regiment – special forces departments tackling unrest in the three southern border provinces.

The culprit pretended to be shopping in the store before shooting Ilfun twice in the head, killing him instantly.

The gunman ran out of the store and jumped on the back of his accomplice’s motorbike, who was waiting for him, and fled into the darkness.

Commander of the 44th Ranger Forces Regiment Col. Pakphum Chantharak said that he believes insurgents undertook the attack in hopes of demonstrating their ability to resist security forces in the area.

The two culprits are still at large but police believe they will be able to track them down using CCTV footage and forensic evidence.

Three weeks ago, suspected insurgents launched a targeted attack on eight territorial defence volunteers in Narathiwat province. One volunteer was killed and two more were injured.

The assailants detonated a roadside bomb and shot at the volunteers with automatic rifles.

As unrest in southern Thailand shows no sign of stopping, a new facilitator has been chosen to host Patani peace talks – retired Malaysian army chief Gen. Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, who will travel to Bangkok to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha next month.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.