11 July 2024

One soldier and three defence volunteers were killed, and two other volunteers injured, in an attack by suspected insurgents on a road checkpoint in Thailand’s southernmost province of Pattani on Tuesday night.

According to a police report, at around 8pm about 10 suspects threw improvised pipe bombs and opened fire with assault rifles at the checkpoint at Ban Korlae Pilae in Tambon Pakaharang.

Eleven village defence volunteers, led by Sgt-Maj Chuthawat Madsri, were manning the checkpoint when explosions killed Usman Yasari and Abdul Fatahsemrem instantly and wounded the others. The remaining officials returned fire, triggering a firefight which lasted about ten minutes, before the attackers escaped under the cover of darkness.

Sgt-Maj Chuthawat and Ni-armin Masaemae were fatally wounded and were pronounced dead when they arrived at the provincial hospital.

A police source said the culprits had probably lain in wait in bushes near the checkpoint, observing the movements of the officials for some time, before they launched the surprise attack.