Four defence volunteers killed at school by militants disguising as army troopers

Disguising themselves as army troops, suspected militants surprised a unit of defence volunteers at a school in Yarang district of the restive southern province of Pattani, killing four volunteers and taking away their assault rifles.

The violent incident occurred this morning in the compound of Ban Pukoh school in Village 5, Tambon Prachan, where four defence volunteers were assigned to provide protection to teachers.

Wearing army fatigues, the gunmen approached the four volunteers who mistook them as troops and then opened fire with their automatic weapons.

The four volunteers were killed at the scene and the assailants grabbed their HK assault rifles, ran toward their waiting pickup truck and escaped.

The shooting incident shocked and caused panic among teachers and students who screamed in horror as they scrambled for cover.  The school was later ordered closed and all the students sent home.

In Betong district of neighboring Yala province, security was ordered to be stepped up and defence volunteers assigned to protect communities were told to check all vehicles entering the communities as a precautionary measure.

Violence allegedly perpetrated by suspected militants associated with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, an armed militant which does not take part in the Malaysia-brokered peace negotiation between the government and Mara Patani, an umbrella organization comprising several militant groups minus BRN, has escalated since late last month.

A car bomb was detonated near a Border Patrol Police task force base in Thepa district of Songkhla province on Tuesday, injuring two border patrol policemen and shattering a transformer, causing partial blackout in the district.

Police tracked the wreckage of pickup truck which was used as car bomb to its owner, a retired school teacher, who was found murdered and hanged in his house in Sabayoi district.

A spate of bomb explosions was reported in Narathiwat and Songkhla provinces a couple of days before the New Year in what was suspected to be an attempt by suspected militants to undermine the economy of the southernmost region.


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