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4 soldiers killed, one hurt in Pattani

Four soldiers were killed and one injured early yesterday when 18 insurgents in three pickup trucks opened fire on them in Pattani's Ma-Yor district.

The six-soldier team on three motorcycles was patrolling a road in Tambon Thanon at 7am when the insurgents chased and shot at them with AKA and M16 rifles and a shotgun. The soldiers on the first two motorbikes fell and the insurgents shot them at close range before stealing four M16s, radios and bullet-proof vests.

The insurgents' bullets missed the third motorbike. The surviving soldiers fought a brief gunfight before the insurgents retreated.

Sgt Leuchai Julthong, Private Ekkalak Sidokmai, Private Pakim Hongmak and Private Benjarong Sikaew were killed, while Sgt Preeda Noppakhun was injured. The attack was captured by a security camera in the area.

Meanwhile, a suspected insurgent shot and wounded Ban Yaba assistant village headman Amran Samoh, 29, at 5.30am yesterday in Narathiwat's Rusoh district while he was riding a motorbike to Ramadan prayers at a local mosque.


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