Five drug traffickers were gunned down after a clash with soldiers manning the border in Chiang Rai on Sunday.
Soldiers of the Pha Muang Task Force have maintained increased surveillance along the border with Myanmar in Mae Pha Luang district since Friday, following a tip-off that a large cache of methamphetamine pills was headed to Thailand, the Third Region Army said.
At 5am on Sunday morning, soldiers spotted 20 people - carrying bags and guns - walking about 700 metres inside the border. The suspects refused to stop and opened fire at the authorities, the Army said.
The exchange of gunfire lasted about 10 minutes before surviving members of the group fled. Soldiers found five bodies and 1.9 million meth pills in 19 packages at the scene, it added.