The southern province of Pattani was again rocked by violence on Thursday morning when insurgents opened fire on people giving alms to monks, killing four, among them a monk and a boy.
Police, alerted at 6.30am about the attack, rushed to the scene where they discovered the body of the monk, Phra Nom Panon, 67, and another victim, together with shells from war weapons.
Eight people who were injured were transferred to a hospital nearby. Two of them were later declared dead.
The other three victims have been identified as Somjai Khunklieng, her son Thitiwat and Jamnien Puttirit, 59.
Police say the villagers were offering alms to the monk when six armed insurgents on three motorcycles opened fire. The assailants were dressed in camouflage gear, most likely to trick victims and witnesses into thinking they were soldiers. They escaped when the monk’s security team returned fire.
Witnesses said some of the assailants were injured in the firefight and police are seeking cooperation from the people in tipping them off should any of the assailants seek treatment for their injuries.