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50+ motorbike taxi drivers blockade southern border

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50 Thai motorcycle taxi drivers have set up a blockade at the Thai-Malaysian border checkpoint to protest what they allege are unworkable, stricter immigration checks now imposed by Malaysian immigration officials.

The taxi drivers say they have been bringing Thai tourists across the border in Songkhla’s Sadao district to the duty-free shops in Malaysia’s Padang Besar for years.

Yesterday morning’s temporary blockade delayed several buses and cars carrying dozens of Malaysian tourists heading to Hat Yai.

Thai immigration police, army troops and local administration officials intervened and persuaded the taxi drivers to move their 50+ bikes blocking the road.

Drivers initially refused, demanding that Thai immigration officials negotiate with their Malaysian counterparts to ease the border crossing restrictions.

The border crossing process has been tightened in recent months by requiring production of a valid passport instead of border passes as was the case in the past. But many Thai motorcycle taxi drivers do not have passports and say the new restrictions are overly restrictive and an alternative solution should be accommodated.

 

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Insurgency

Suspected insurgent killed in gunfire exchange with rangers in Thailand’s deep south

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Photo via Facebook/ คนรักทหารพราน

A suspected insurgent was shot and killed in a gunfire exchange with Thai rangers in Narathawit, a province in Thailand’s deep south by the Malaysian border plagued with violence from the religious separatist insurgency. 2 other men were arrested after the clash with rangers in the Bacho district this morning. Another suspected insurgent is on the run.

Rangers got a tip that 4 insurgents were hiding out at a home in the district. The rangers surround the home at around 5am this morning. The men inside the home fired shots at rangers, shooting a 28 year old soldier in the wrist. The gunfire exchange lasted about 10 minutes. A suspect, identified as Sufian Yoso, managed to escape out the back of the home.

Rangers searched the area and found the body of Suraidin Katae, also known as Madong, who had a warrant out for his arrest. Suspected insurgents Ku-afnan and Ku-amran Kupama, who are brothers, were arrested. Rangers say the men had a 11mm pistol and an AK102 rifle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Songkhla

Man struck and killed by freight train just 2 days after being released from prison

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Photo via Facebook/สถานีรถไฟชุมทางหาดใหญ่ Hat Yai Junction

Just 2 days after being released from prison, a 34 year old man was struck and killed by a freight train in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district yesterday. Police suspect the man intentionally ran onto the tracks in front of the moving train as it was leaving the Hat Yai railway station about 300 metres away and headed toward the Bang Klam district.

The man had been incarcerated on drug charges. He was released 2 days prior to his death and was staying with a friend who lived in a community along the railroad. The man’s family says he suffered from mental illness and had attempted to commit suicide many times in the past.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Insurgency

Thai ranger and 2 suspected insurgents killed in Thailand’s deep south

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Photo via Facebook/กรมทหารพรานที่ 47

In the ongoing violence from the Southern Thailand insurgency, 2 suspected insurgents and a Thai ranger were killed in a clash between security forces and an armed rebel group in Yala’s Krong Pinang district. Known as Thailand’s “deep south,” the provinces Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani, along the Malaysia border, have been plagued with violence for years due to the religious separatist insurgency.

Law enforcement officers had received a tip that suspected insurgents, who were wanted on court warrants, were staying in the Batu Buela and Bae Chaeng villages. A team of police and soldiers, along with some civilians, were deployed to the villages. 30 year old Wan Asan Asu, who had a warrant out for his arrest, surrendered to officers while other suspected insurgents responded with gunfire.

Shots were fired from both sides for about 2 hours. Nopparit Sukson, a ranger of the Yala-based 47th Ranger Regiment, was killed in the clash. Officers searched the area after the gunfire exchange and found the bodies of 2 men who had warrants out for their arrest. Each had an AK47 rifle and one of them also had a pistol.

More officers have been called to help clear the area today.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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