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Five killed, six hurt in clash at Mo Chit bus terminal

HOLIDAY ROAD DEATH TOLL ALSO RISES TO 266, WITH 57 KILLED ON NEW YEAR'S EVE

AS HOLIDAYMAKERS began making their way back to the capital, leading to congested highways and crowded bus stations yesterday, Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal in Mo Chit saw an early-morning brawl among youngsters that resulted in five deaths and six injuries.

Meanwhile, the Road Safety Centre yesterday reported that 266 people had been killed and 2,502 others injured in 2,355 road accidents during the first five days of the New Year holidays. Nakhon Ratchasima province reported the highest toll with 15 deaths and 98 people injured, while Nakhon Sawan reported the highest number of accidents at 89.

The national police chief's assistant, Pol Lt-General Ruangsak Jarit-ake, reported that 57 people had been killed and 571 injured in 537 accidents on New Year's Eve alone, while drunk driving and speeding were the major causes at 47.86 and 28.49 per cent respectively.

After the brawl at the Mo Chit bus station reported at 1am yesterday, Bang Sue police found the body of Phuttisak Khlongkhlaew, 25, at a taxi stand behind the terminal building. The victim had three bullet wounds, and about 50 metres away, the body of 21-year-old Atthachai Inthachote was found with one gunshot wound in the chest. There were also 30 spent bullets and cartridges in the area.

Eleven injured youngsters were taken to nearby hospitals but three - Chidchai Chompoocharoen, 42; Anusorn Modkula, 27; and Payu Saejiew, 25 - were later pronounced dead from their injuries.

Metropolitan Police Area 2 deputy chief Pol Colonel Charoen Srisalak said initial investigation found that the brawl was between young people from a nearby Prachacheun community and others working at the public-transport vans' stand within the bus terminal's compound. These groups have allegedly had previous clashes.

On New Year's Eve, a fight broke out between the two groups and the Prachacheun youths returned with 15 armed men to attack the transport-van youths who were partying at the building, police said. Police believe that at least five guns were used in the clash and are seeking an arrest warrant for one person.


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