SWAT officers shoot dead suspected insurgent in southern Thailand

Photo via ThaiRath

Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T) officers killed a suspected insurgent in a shootout in Yala province, southern Thailand, early this morning.

The deceased was suspected to have had a role in the ambush that killed a police officer on Friday, as well as the bombing of a PTT gas station in Than To district.

At 4.30am today, a S.W.A.T team closed in on a property housing suspected insurgents in Ban Rae, Than Tho district, Yala province.

The SWAT team tried to negotiate and convince the suspects to come out and surrender to no avail.

At 5.45am, a suspected insurgent fired shots at the SWAT team and attempted to escape.

The SWAT officers fired shots back, killing 42 year old Ibrahim Sa, a wanted insurgent police say specialised in assembling improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Police say Ibrahim was involved in the bombing of a PTT gas station as well as the bombing and ambushing of a police car, which resulted in the death of one police officer and injured four more on Friday.

On Friday, an IED exploded, overturning a police vehicle. After the explosion, a gunman hiding nearby opened fire on the pickup.

Five police officers sustained head injuries and were rushed to Bannang Sata Hospital, where Pol. Maj. Prasan Kongprasit died from his injuries.

Police say there was one warrant out for Ibrahim’s arrest related to a bombing in Thailand’s Deep South.

The S.W.A.T team seized Ibrahim’s 9mm pistol he used to fire at officers.

Commander of the Internal Security Operations Command 4 (ISOC 4), Lt. Gen. Shanti Sakuntanga, said the extrajudicial killing was a last resort in retaliation to gunfire.

“Our intention is to solve problems by peaceful means. We give perpetrators the chance to turn themselves in and defend themselves according to legal processes.

“People found housing insurgents will also be subject to prosecution.

“ISOC 4 would like to thank people who provided us with useful information. If you witness violent acts or have information on violent offenders, you can inform security forces in your area.

“Or, call the ISOC 4’s 24-hour hotline on 1341. Alternatively, call ISOC 4’s Commander-in-Chief directly on 06-1173-2999.”

Violence in the Deep South has intensified since the resurfaced insurgency entered its 20th year last month.

In 2022, the insurgency claimed 29 lives, much less than in previous years. However, 123 more were injured, which is higher than in previous years.

BenarNews reported that these numbers are a “blip” when compared to the state of the insurgency a decade ago.

Two weeks ago, a bomb attack at a railway in Narathiwat injured eight security officers.

In January, suspected insurgents launched a targeted attack on eight territorial defence volunteers, killing one and injuring two.

South Thailand News

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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.