A POLICEMAN was shot dead yesterday outside his precinct station in Pattani’s Khok Pho district, in posible retaliation for the deaths of two suspected insurgents the day before.
Pol Corporal Chalermpol Khomkham, 32, was manning the sentry box outside Na Pradu police station when six men on three motorcycles opened fire with assault rifles at about noon yesterday.
Several shots were also fired at the police station.
The badly wounded policeman was rushed to a nearby hospital but soon pronounced dead.
More than 20 spent AK-47 cartridges were collected near the sentry box.
The attack, recorded on the police station’s security cameras, came just a day after two suspected insurgents were killed in a gunfight with security forces.
Police said yesterday’s attack could have been revenge for the deaths of the perpetrators’ comrades on Saturday.
In Saturday’s clash in Pattani’s Yaring district, rangers and police exchanged fire with three suspects. One ranger was shot and a stray bullet wounded a local girl.
The firefight began about 5am. Officers ended up in a stand-off with the third suspect, according to Police Captain Kachornsak Kuamanee, deputy inspector at Yaring precinct.
He said about 100 rangers and policemen were deployed around a house in Moo 3, Tambon Talo Kapo, where three suspected insurgents were believed to be hiding. Authorities arrived to be greeted by a hail of gunfire.
The ranger and the girl, Koiru Imbadeesan, 9, were wounded and taken to Pattani Hospital. The gun battle continued throughout the morning.
Kachornsak said two of the suspects were shot dead, while the third kept firing. A local spiritual leader was asked to try and persuade the lone holdout to surrender.
The latest wave of violence in the border provinces began last Thursday when four defence volunteers were shot dead by suspected insurgents armed with assault rifles at a school in Pattani.