Two para-military rangers were killed in a gun ambush in Pattani's Sai Buri district yesterday morning.
With at least one assailant possibly being injured in the gunfight, security officials were searching surrounding areas for the attackers and have alerted medical facilities to watch out for a person with gunshot wounds.
The two rangers – Papon Sommaneewan, 40, and Samphan Onprawat, 26 – were riding the motorcycle in front, which was part of a three-motorbike team patrolling Highway 42 (Narthiwat-Pattani) in tambon Troh Bon, when assailants in a black pickup truck opened fire at them at around 7am. The remaining team members quickly sought cover and fired back, forcing the assailants to flee.
The two rangers were rushed to hospital, where they were pronounced dead from multiple bullet wounds in the torso.
Police collected eight AK-102 cartridges, five HK cartridges and four 9mm cartridges from the scene.
This is the second time a gun ambush has taken place since July 2012, the first being when a group of gunmen in two pickups attacked a three-motorcycle patrol team in Pattani, resulting in the deaths of four soldiers.
In related news, rubber tapper Ahama Salae, 38, was shot dead in his home in Yala’s Bannang Sata district early yesterday morning. The victim’s wife said a gunman walked into the house at 1.30am and shot Ahama five times in the chest before fleeing the scene.