Masked gunmen kidnapped and shot dead two policemen in Thailand’s Deep South, hours after insurgents were also suspected of detonating a bomb that killed a soldier and wounded two others near a local cemetery, officials said Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, unidentified gunmen shot dead a man in Pattani, one of the provinces in the Deep South, police said.
About eight men in balaclava masks barged into a teashop in Tambon Bukit in Cho I-rong, a district of Narathiwat province on Tuesday evening, and seized the two police officers who were having tea, police quoted witnesses as saying.
“It looked like the attackers dragged them down from a pickup truck, shot them at close range and pushed them into the ditch,” Col. Lukman Boko, chief of the Cho I-rong police station, told reporters.
The brazen abduction and killing of the lawmen was unusual even in Thailand’s volatile southern border region, where security personnel often are targeted randomly in roadside bombings.
“Each was found with bullet wounds to the body and the head,” Lukman said, referring to the policemen whose bodies were found early morning Wednesday about 200 yards from the teashop.
The dead cops were identified as Cpl. Nares Iedthong, 31, and Cpl. Ruswaidi Samae, 30.
“I believe the insurgents stalked the two policemen for some time for them to know that the officers were frequent customers at the teashop,” a police detective, who asked not to identified, told BenarNews. “It seems that they specifically targeted the police officers.”
The assailants, who fled in a stolen pickup truck, seized a rifle and two handguns from the officers who were in plain clothes, investigators said.
Continue reading BenarNews: Suspected Rebel Attacks Kill 4 in Thai Deep South