PATTANI : A police investigator was shot dead while gathering intelligence in Pattani's Yarang district yesterday in what authorities believe was a premeditated attack.
The Honda Civic driven by Pol Maj Neramit Churoj, a police investigator of Ban Sarong police station, which skidded off the road and crashed into a tree after suspected militants shot him in Pattani’s Yarang district yesterday morning. PAREZ LOHASANT
The shooting took place about 8am as Pol Maj Neramit Churoj, a 45-year-old inspector of Ban Sarong police station, was travelling alone in his Honda Civic in Moo 5 of tambon Khao Tum.
According to an initial probe, four men on two motorcycles approached Pol Maj Neramit's car and opened fire with a 9mm pistol and an M16 rifle.
The policeman was taken to Yala Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The slaying of the investigator was preceded by an intelligence warning that senior police officers in Thung Yang Daeng district of Pattani could be targeted by insurgents, authorities said.
Pol Maj Neramit had previously served Thung Yang Daeng police station and he regularly travelled in the area.
Pol Maj Neramit, born in Phatthalung, was assigned the post of deputy inspector of Thung Yang Daeng police station in 2004. He later became inspector of Ban Sarong police station on May 5, 2011.
The funeral rite for Pol Maj Neramit was held yesterday afternoon at Wat Nopphawongsaram in Muang Pattani municipality. Several senior officials in the province attended the ceremony.
Pol Maj Neramit's wife, Kanakan Churoj, said her husband was familiar with the situation in the insurgency-plagued southernmost provinces.
She also pleaded with the assailants not to carry out further violence as her husband's slaying had left her family in deep trouble.
Meanwhile, in Pattani's Thung Yang Daeng district, police were alerted to a fatal shooting in front of a mosque in Ban Paseputae in tambon Paku yesterday.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found the body of Rosa Tayae, a 45-year-old former village chief. He had been shot five times.
An initial probe revealed Rosa was walking to the mosque when two attackers on a motorcycle opened fire with a .357 handgun.
Police said the motive behind the shooting had not been established as the victim was involved in the local administration's election. He lost in the contest for the village headman position in the last election.
In Yala's Bannang Sata district, gunmen opened fire on the military outpost of the Yala No.15 special force on the Yala-Betong road in Ban Ranor of tambon Tanoh Puteh about 6.50pm on Thursday.
Pvt Armue Mayeh, 22, was shot but only slightly injured as he was wearing a bullet-proof vest during the clash.
Capt Annaj Ruantip, head of the military unit, yesterday said an unknown number of gunmen in a rubber plantation opposite the outpost sprayed bullets at the station while eight soldiers were on duty there.
The gunfight lasted about 10 minutes before the shooters fled the scene.
Insurgent suspect Abe Jeh-alee and eight other armed men who have carried out attacks in Krong Pinang and Bannang Sata districts of Yala could have been behind the shooting, police said.
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