Ambush kills Hmong leader's kin

Ambush kills Hmong leader's kin

Chiang Rai: At least two gunmen opened fire on the head of Thailand-based Hmong association and his family on Tuesday, killing his wife and their five-year-old daughter, police said.

Thaweesak Yodmaneebanphot, 54, who is also kamnan of tambon Por, sustained a gunshot wound to his right arm while his three-year-old son, Chaimongkol, was hit in the left leg.

His wife, Maiyia Wongnapapaisal, 40, and five-year-old daughter Thanyaporn Yodmaneebanphot were killed in the ambush late on Tuesday afternoon about five kilometres from their home.

Mr Thaweesak is a local leader campaigning for land rights for residents in Thoeng and Wiang Kaen districts and against the illegal drug trade. He and his family members are well-liked by villagers.

Pol Col Photsawee Chotitianchaiwat, deputy chief of Chiang Rai provincial police, said yesterday forensic officials and police were combing the area for evidence.

He said a large number of two different types of bullet casingss were recovered from the crime scene, indicating that at least two shooters were involved.

The victims were travelling in their pickup truck on the Ban Rom Fa Thong-Ban Pha Tang Road in tambon Por of Wiang Kaen district when the gunmen opened fire, police said.

The attack took place when the pickup approached a curve which passes through forested mountainous terrain, police said, adding the attackers were hiding in the woods on a slope on the left side of the vehicle.

It appeared the pickup stopped when it was attacked and reversed about 15 metres.

The gunmen continued firing at the truck, bringing it to a halt again, police said.

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