A manhunt has been launched for six male suspects who on Sunday night are suspected to have seized guns and bullets from 10 village defence volunteers assigned to guard a local school in Pattani province’s Sai Buri district.
The suspects made off with four shotguns and 20 bullets, Sai Buri police superintendent Pol Colonel Montri Khongwatmai said on Monday.
The superintendent led forensic police to inspect Ban Seu Dang School in Moo 4 of tambon Troh Bon on Monday morning. The six armed men attacked the volunteers at 9.30pm, gagged and tied them up before fleeing with the guns and bullets.
The school was closed for a day to ensure the safety of teachers and students as well as facilitate police investigation at the scene.
Police retrieved a black hat that one of the suspects had left behind along with some ropes.
Police are also checking CCTV cameras in the area for information about the suspects and their escape route.
Initial investigation revealed that the six men in black clothes, with their faces covered, were armed with four rifles and a pistol. They are suspected to have been hiding in the school compound. They attacked the defence volunteers, who showed up alone or in groups of 2-3 persons at a time to report for duty to guard the school at night. The volunteers were reportedly taken by surprise before they were gagged and tied up.
The volunteers were warned against resisting or putting up a fight, as the assailants only wanted to take away their guns. The assailants then made off with the four shotguns and 20 bullets on three motorcycles towards Thung Yang Daeng district.