16 insurgents killed in Narathiwat clash
At least 16insurgents were killed in a gunfight early Wednesday morning shortly after midnight after scores of insurgents walked into a trap set up by the local marine unit in Bacho, Narathiwat.The insurgents, armed with machine guns and dressed in military fatigue with flack jackets, arrived in the area on vehicle and went on foot. They were greeted by a hail of gunfire by the waiting Marines who, according to various accounts, were tipped off about the planned attack.
Bodies of the victims were posted on the Internet on various websites. The death toll of the insurgents was one of the highest yet in a single gunfight between separatist militants and government security forces.
The marines appeared to have been well positioned and dug in as they waited for the insurgents. Fourth Army’s spokesman Col Pramote Prom-in told Thai television that information about the planned attack was provided local residents. He put the number of insurgents at about 100.
The attack was one of the most daring in years. No military casualties were reported and the number of injured was not provided.
In spite the apparent success in the Wednesday gunfight, the insurgents’ ability to mobilised and come together in such a number continue to be a point of great concern for the authorities and security forces who are often at the receiving end of insurgents’ attacks that often involved roadside ambush and car/motorbike bombs followed by brief gunfight.