5 drug traffickers killed in North

Five drug traffickers were killed in a clash with paramilitary rangers in Chiang Rai’s Mae Fa Luang district early Saturday morning.

  • Published: 4/05/2013 at 01:11 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

After receiving a tip that a large amount of illegal drugs would be smuggled over the border, Maj Sumit Saenduangdee led a ranger unit to observe the area around Ban Arleh in tambon Mae Salong Nok on Friday night.

About 2am, the rangers spotted 12 men walking up a hill toward a nearby village. They quietly surround the armed men and then demanded to search their bags.

The men opened fire on the rangers who fired back. The traffickers retreated to a nearby forest where a booby trap planted by the rangers exploded. A subsequent gun battle lasted about 20 minutes.

After dawn, rangers inspected the scene and found five bodies killed by bullets and shrapnel. They also seized three assault rifles, 1.2 million baht in cash and 600,000 methamphetamine pills inside the bags.

Methamphetamine or ya ba is sold on the street for between 200 and 300 baht per tablet, givingh the haul a value of up to 180 million baht.

The rangers also found a blood trail left by the injured traffickers who managed to escape. A manhunt was continuing on Saturday.

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