Five police officers killed in ambush by gunmen

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YALA, Sept 11 – Five police officers were killed in an attack by gunmen during a crackdown on oil smuggling in this predominantly ethnic Malay Muslim southern province today, a military spokesman said.

Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command’s 4th Region, said the police vehicle was overtaken by a pick-up truck which carried the gunmen.

They opened fire at the police officers, all of whom were killed by the giunfire, he said.

The police officers were on assignment cracking down on oil smuggling on the southern border, he said, adding that Thailand’s deep South has been plagued by smuggling of drugs, oil and other contraband.

The fatal shooting took place only a day after a bomb ambush at a school security booth in the same province which killed two soldiers, and wounded another soldier and a student.