YALA: Fifteen people manning a security checkpoint were killed when it was attacked by gunmen on Tuesday night, in tambon Lam Phaya of Muang district. The victims' weapons were stolen.
Authorities said there were at least 10 attackers. The insurgents approached on foot through a rubber plantation to attack the defence volunteer booth in Moo 5 village about 11.20pm.
Eleven local residents and officials, mainly defence volunteers on duty, were shot dead during the attack. Four wounded colleagues later succumbed to their wounds at Yala Hospital.
Three other wounded people were being treated there. Two defence volunteers survived the onslaught unscathed.
The dead included present and former assistant village and sub-district heads, a former sub-district head, a health official, and a police captain supervising southern border investigations.
The insurgents scattered road spikes, set fire to tyres, felled a tree and bombed a power pole to obstruct pursuit. It also hindered emergency services rushing to the scene of the attack. Three rescue vehicles were disabled.
Officials said the attackers stole an assault rifle, two shotguns and five pistols from the checkpoint victims.
About the same time, another checkpoint was attacked. No casualties were reported there.