Teacher, school principal shot dead in Pattani

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PATTANI, Dec 11 – Police said a male teacher and a female school principal were gunned down inside a school in this southern border province in the latest—and most intrusive–fatal attack on teachers to date.

The violence took place as hundreds of government schools in the troubled region reopened today amid tight security after being closed for several days in the wake of recent attacks on teachers.

The latest victims were identified as teacher Somsak Kwanma and Tiyarat Chauykaew, principal of Ban Ba Ngo School in Mayo district.

Police investigators said a group of at least five men entered the school, shot the teachers, and then fled in a pickup truck.

Two teachers were attacked in separate incidents last week in Narathiwat, killing Chatsuda Nilsuwan, 32, of Ban Ta-ngoh School in Cho Airong district and wounding Tirapol Chusongsaeng, 52, of Ban Bokoh School in Su-ngai Padi district.

In neighbouring Yala province, the army today sent a Humvee armoured vehicle to pick up teachers at a meeting point in the provincial seat and sent them to various schools in Krongpinang district while defence volunteers and rangers were on duty at various checkpoints.

Schools in Yala were also closed for a week after the attacks on teachers in Narathiwat.

In another development, the death toll in a tea shop shooting in Narathiwat rose to four

after the latest victim succumbed to her injuries. The victim was identified as Nissaba Muso, 25. The four dead include an 11-month-old baby girl.

According to the initial investigation, a pickup truck stopped outside the shop and three armed men fired into the shop before fleeing.

The police believed the attackers were insurgents intending to extend atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the general public.