Patrol officer killed in Narathiwat attacks
Police vehicle hit by rifle fire and firebomb in two rounds of attacks by insurgents
published : 7 Mar 2020 at 17:04
writer: Waedao Harai
NARATHIWAT: A police patrol officer was killed and two others injured in shooting and firebomb attacks while returning to their police station in Sri Sakhon district late on Friday.
A three-member police team on board a patrol pickup truck was attacked shortly after they left Sri Sakhon Hospital at about 11.55pm, said police.
While the vehicle was on the way back to the Sri Sakhon police station, an unknown number of assailants suddenly opened fire from a roadside ambush. The attack took place about one kilometre from the hospital.
The attackers used M16 and AK rifles to attack the patrol team, led by Pol Sub Lt Pramual Kaewkung, deputy crime suppression chief at the Sri Sakhon station. The two other officers were driver Pol Cpl Chitsanupong Chumsuwan and Pol Sgt Booncharan Songthip.
The driver of the patrol vehicle sped away, but it came under fire again just 50 metres away from the first site. The attackers then threw a firebomb at the vehicle, causing it to skid off the road.
Pol Sub Lt Pramual, who was sitting on the front seat, and Pol Cpl Chitsanupong immediately got out from the vehicle as it caught fire. The officers fired back at the assailants as the blaze engulfing the vehicle spread to a nearby roadside stall selling clothes.
Pol Sgt Booncharan, who was in the back seat, was found dead inside the patrol vehicle, which was badly damaged. Pol Sub Lt Pramual and Pol Cpl Chitsanupong were injured.
Pol Lt Gen Ronnasil Poosara, chief of Provincial Police Region 9, led police and bomb disposal officers to inspect the two sites of the attacks.
More than 40 spent cartridges from M16 and AK rifles were found scattered along the road at Talor village in tambon Sakor, the scene of the initial attack.
Another 50 spent cartridges from the two weapons were found at the second site.
Thai authorities recently embarked on a new phase of direct peace talks, the first involving the most powerful southern rebel group, in hopes of resolving the conflict that has taken 7,000 lives since 2004.
The talks will take time and require support from “all sectors”, officials said this week after meeting with representatives of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) insurgents in Kuala Lumpur for two days.