3 family members shot and burned in Pattani attack

FILE PHOTO: Wreckage from the brutal attack in Pattani this weekend.

A heavily-armed motorbike gang in Pattani shot and then burned 3 family members making a delivery from Songkla to Narathiwat in an alleged terrorist attack. The murders took place early on Saturday morning on the main road from Narathiwat to Pattani, where forensic teams have found more than 30 bullet casings. Police expect swift arrests and blame local insurgents for the attack.

At about 6.30 am, police were called to a burning wreck in the centre of the highway with the bodies of Suporn Kittiprapanan, 58, his daughter Jiraporn, and his grandson Santipattana trapped inside the blaze. They had been delivering foam and plastic products in their bronze Toyota Hilux in the Sai Buri district of Pattani.

The car was reportedly chased by 2 bikes with 2 people on each motorbike. The bikes sped past the car and the passenger on each bike then began shooting at the car. The driver was shot in the head and the car lurched out of control into a ditch in the centre divide of the highway. The motorbikes followed the Hilux into the ditch and continued to shoot into the car with what is believed to be M16 or M19 assault rifles. They then poured petrol over the car and set it on fire. Witnesses of the Pattani attack reported other cars being shot at and another car being set on fire as well.

The man died at the wheel and his daughter was found dead hidden under the console of the car. The grandson managed to flee the car before it was set on fire, and rescuers found him and transported him to the hospital before he succumbed to his gunshot wounds. The victims lived in Hat Yai and are believed to be completely innocent in an unprovoked execution.

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Top officials of the Pattani Provincial Administrative Organisation indicated that they believe the horrific attack committed by the motorbike gang to be the work of a local crime boss in the Sai Buri district. They said the warlord had connections to insurgency groups that have been active recently in the southern provinces near the Malaysian border. Attacks like this had occurred before, particularly along the border, but an attack this sadistic and savage hadn’t been seen for a long time.

Police vowed to use clues and evidence collected at the scene, along with forensic analysis of the shell casings to pursue the attack perpetrators. Security agencies will beef up protection in the Pattani area, as well as share data and intelligence about the continued insurgency with hopes of quickly identifying the attackers and bringing about swift justice.

SOURCE: Thai Examiner

South Thailand News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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