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Attempt to kill former red shirt leader linked to 'personal dispute'

THE ATTEMPT to kill a key red shirt leader in Chiang Mai on Saturday evening was likely the result of a personal conflict, police said.

Niyom Luangcharoen, "DJ Lae", former leader of Rak Chiang Mai 51, is under heavy security at Chiang Mai Hospital after an unknown number of gunmen fired about 30 bullets at him at around 7.30pm that day.

He is in stable condition after being hit by two bullets: one in his right wrist and another in his right knee. The attack occurred while he was having dinner with four friends and relatives at his home. He said he was opening his refrigerator to get water when it began.

He dropped to the floor and pulled the refrigerator over his body to protect himself against the hail of bullets, he said. His four companions said they could not see the shooters because it was dark. None of them were targeted.

Niyom said he suspected that his attackers intended to kill him in order to silence him. He said he had previously identified them to police in regard to other cases, but did not say what type of cases these were.

Niyom said he had provided a list of suspects in the attack to Lieutenant Songsak Tanyadi, an investigator at San Kamphaeng Police Station.

A senior provincial police officer said cartridges of AK 47 bullets were found at the scene. Police are investigating personal conflicts, he said, as Niyom had conflicts with several people and was targeted in another shooting three years ago. Police have not ruled out that the attack was political.


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