Ambushes kill five police, one guard

BANGKOK (AFP): Gunmen opened fire in simultaneous attacks on police checkpoints in three southern Thai provinces, killing five officers and a civilian guard, officials said this morning. The unidentified attackers hit five police outposts – one in Yala, one in Pattani, and three in Narathiwat – at about 7:30 last night, local police said. Thai Interior Minister Purachai Piemsoomboon said the strikes were likely carried out by Muslim separatists seeking revenge for the shooting death of a Muslim leader by Thai police last month. “They might have been taking revenge for when their leader was shot by police last month,” he told reporters. Purachai said he believed the attack was aimed at police, and not civilians working at the checkpoints. “When they attack government officials, we will take legal action and we definitely have measures to take action against this group,” the minister added. Thai police last month shot dead two suspects believed linked to the kidnapping and beheading of two Thais by a group of Muslim separatists in June after they fired on police. One of the victims was a separatist leader. There are two main groups of Thai separatists, the Pattani United Liberation Organisation, also known as New Pulo, and Barisan Revolusi Nasional, both located in the south. Muslims represent about four percent of Thailand’s predominantly Buddhist population of 62 million. They live mostly in five southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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