SONGKHLA: A 23-year-old Marine private on leave from a posting in Narathiwat apparently misunderstood the meaning of “R&R”, by shooting himself in the head during a drunken game of Russian Roulette. On the evening of November 22, Pte Juthipon Singmanee, posted to the Chulabhorn Army Camp in strife-torn Narathiwat Province, was home during his leave of duty, socializing with four or five friends. At an unnumbered house in Village 8 of Tambon Khao Roop-chang in Songkhla’s Muang District, the friends formed a wong lao (drinking circle) as a way of bidding farewell to Pte Juthipon, who was returning to active duty the next day. One of the friends happened to have a partly loaded .38 revolver, which Pte Juthipon thought would be fun to use in a game of Russian Roulette. Removing all of the bullets but one, he put the pistol to his right temple and pulled the trigger. Unfortunately for the young serviceman, the chamber holding the bullet happened to be the one set to discharge. With a deafening bang, the .38 slug ripped into his skull. He spun, and fell face-up with a thud into the center of the drinking circle. Pol Maj Jamlong Suwaluck of Songkhla’s Muang District Police, who questioned Juthipon’s friends, said that the death was not a suicide relating to the stress of having to serve in the Deep South. “He was only doing it for fun,” the friends told him.
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