PATTANI, Jan 24 — One Buddhist monk and one paramilitary ranger were killed in a shooting attack in this southern province, and another ranger and a second monk were seriously wounded.
Pattani police said six men on three motorcycle were awaiting the victims at roadside shrubbery and fired bullets into a car carrying two paramilitary rangers and two monks arrived.
The rangers protection unit was on duty accompanying the monks receiving food offerings.
The driver of the car lost control and the vehicle careened into a roadside ditch 30 metres from the road. The gunmen fled the scene after throwing triangle spikes on the road to prevent the authorities from following them.
The incident occurred at 6.40am on the Ban Klang-Ban Bang Ma Ruad Road in Ban Klang subdistrict.
Police said the car was badly damaged. Investigators found more than 20 M16 assault rifle shell casings at the scene.
One ranger died at the wheel, while the rest were wounded and taken to Pattani Hospital.
One monk was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
In nearby province of Yala, a 30-man combined force of police and military raided two targeted villages in Yala’s Krong Pinang district this morning following reports that suspected insurgents were hiding there.
The assault team confiscated some 50 mobile phones, two digital watches, small homemade bombs, electric wire, and electrical circuit boards from the home of 32-year-old Muhammad Purong.
The home owner said that he is a cell phone technician and all the seized mobile phones were broken. He was later taken in for further questioning.