Five suspected drug traffickers were killed in a clash with paramilitary rangers in Chiang Rai's Mae Fa Luang district early yesterday morning.
After receiving a tip that a large amount of drugs would be smuggled over the border, Third Army ranger force 3109 chief Sumit Saenduangdee took a unit to the area about Ban Arleh in tambon Mae Salong Nok on Friday night.
At about 2.30am yesterday, the rangers spotted 12 men walking up a hill towards a nearby village. They surrounded them and demanded to search their bags. The men started shooting at the rangers who returned fire. The alleged traffickers retreated to a nearby forest where a trap planted by the rangers exploded. A subsequent gun battle lasted about 20 minutes.
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