4 killed, 22 arrested in South raid

4 killed, 22 arrested in South raid

Paramilitary rangers killed four suspected insurgents and detained 22 other men for questioning after two clashes in Thung Yang Daeng district of Pattani province Wednesday night.

Authorities were tipped off about possible violent attacks in the district the government is developing as a model for peace restoration in the violence-plagued far South.

They followed four suspected insurgents into Ban Toh Jood village, which sits in the middle of a forest in Pitane sub-district of Thung Yang Daeng. As rangers were about to launch their raid around 6pm, gunfire erupted and continued for some time.

When the shooting stopped, they saw the bodies of four men and seized three assault rifles, a pistol and a hand grenade.

Pending the arrival of a forensic team, another round of gunfire erupted. It lasted about ten minutes. Afterwards rangers arrested 22 male villagers and seized a number of war weapons. They were brought to the 41st Paramilitary Regiment for questioning.

Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the southern outpost of the Internal Security Operations Command, said in Pattani on Thursday that local residents had informed authorities of the suspects' movements and the information led to the raid Wednesday.

He identified the four dead men as Suhaimee Senlae, 32, Kholid Mamaeng, 24, Madaree Maeroh, 23, and Saddam Wanu, 24. They were villagers in Thung Yang Daeng district.

The spokesman said that insurgents planned violent attacks to discredit the government's Thung Yang Daeng model project, but authorities could prevent their attacks thanks to tips from local villagers.

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