Insurgents shot dead in far South

Insurgents shot dead in far South

Four insurgents and a former separatist insurgent have been killed in three separate incidents in the far South since Monday night.

Three insurgents were killed and three soldiers wounded when paramilitary rangers clashed with a group of militants in Pattani’s Panare district on Tuesday, reports said.

The fight began at about 11am when members of No 44 Paramilitary Ranger Unit were patrolling the Panare-Saiburi road at moo 2 in tambon Thakham, and lasted about 25 minutes.

After the militants withdrew the rangers found two bodies and two AK47 assault rifles.

Three rangers were wounded in the shooting and taken to hospital.

The rangers were hunting for the attackers.

In Narathiwat's Ruso district, a former member of the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo) insurgent movement was found murdered in a rubber plantation, police said.

The body of Tore Chewaemuro, 53, of tambon Riang, Ruso district, was discovered in a plantation near Ban Tulo early this morning.

His body was riddled with bullets. Two spent shotgun cartridges were found near his body.

Police said Tore was formerly a member of Pulo, a Muslim separatist movement that is no longer active.

The man had been approached many times to join the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK), a separatist movement now very active in the South, after several key RKK members were killed in clashes with government forces, but had refused to do so.

In Narathiwat's Si Sakhon district, a core member of the RKK was killed in a clash with paramilitary rangers on Monday night, reports said.

More than 100 rangers of a special force of the Internal Security Operations Command, Region 4, raided a forest behind Ban Kampong Ngae in tambon Si Sakhon of Si Sakhon district last night after receiving a report that about 10 RKK insurgents were hiding there.

When the RKK members learned that they were surrounded they opened fired on the rangers, who fired back.

After a 10-minute gunfight the RKK militants fled. Rangers searched the scene and found the body of Abdulromae Jehnae, 44, a resident of Ban Ikasae in Si Sakhon and a .357 calibre pistol. He had been shot several times in the body and died at the scene.

Abdulromae was a key member of RKK and wanted on arrest warrants on charges of murdering state officials.

One ranger, Sgt Rithidej Sriruangdej, was seriously wounded. He was shot in the neck and taken to Si Sakhon hospital.

More than 5,000 people have been killed and over 8,400 hurt in the three southern border provinces and the four districts of Songkhla since the violence erupted afresh in Jan 2004, according to Deep South Watch, an agency that monitors the conflict in the far South.

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