Armed bandits steal school guards' guns
Pattani: A school in Sai Buri district suspended all classes on Monday after security officers guarding the premises were robbed of their weapons on Sunday night.
Six armed robbers wearing hoods raided Ban Sua School in tambon Troh Pon and detained 10 security guards there.
The thieves tied and gagged them before making off with four rifles and 20 bullets.
The school announced on Monday it had cancelled classes for the day to ensure teachers and students were safe as the authorities scoured the school for evidence of the robbery.
The police collected a black hood and ropes used for tying the security officers' hands.
CCTV footage from in and outside the school were being reviewed.
Pol Col Montree Kongwatmai, chief of Sai Buri police, said the robbers were armed with rifles and a pistol. They appeared to have sneaked into the school and hidden there for several hours before the robbery.
As the officers reported for security surveillance duty at the school, the robbers took them aside, tied them up and ordered them to hand over their weapons. They then fled in three motorcycles heading to neighbouring Thung Yang Daeng district, according to Pol Col Montree.
Police said they may have clues about the identities of some of the suspects, who are believed to be wanted on security-related offences.
The investigators believe some of the robbers are recently-recruited insurgents. They may be planning to use the weapons to stage an attack, police said.
The security officers at the school will be summonsed to give statements to determine if any of them sympathise with the insurgents.
Meanwhile, two people, one of them an assistant village head, were injured in a bomb blast in tambon La-ae of Yaha district of Yala.
Torpa La-teh, 51, the assistant village head, and Manaseh Sunoh, 43, were wounded in the explosion at a vending stall near the ramp of a bridge on Monday morning. Mr Torpa was conducting a security patrol when the explosion occurred.
They were rushed to Yala Hospital.