Three Shot Dead in Southern Thailand on Anniversary of BRN Uprising

By BenarNews Staff
TH-shootings-620-March2015 Residents of Baan I-kuleng village in southern Thailand’s Narathiwat province remove the body of roadside shooting victim Marohki Maelae, March 13, 2015.

Three men were killed Friday in separate shootings in Thailand’s Deep South region, as a local insurgency group marked its 55th anniversary.

The attacks came as authorities in the predominantly Muslim far southern region were bracing for possible violence connected to the birthday of the separatist Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani – better known as BRN – which was founded on March 13, 1960.

Police had yet to determine if separatists were involved in two of the killings earlier on Friday.

But police in Yala province believe that rebels took part in the third fatal shooting, which occurred at 8:40 p.m. Friday (local time) in Kabang district.

The victim, a disabled man identified as Kriya Ledsipoh, was shot multiple times in his abdomen as he rested at his home, police said.

Kriya later died at a local hospital.

Village leader slain

One of the other victims of Friday’s violence lived in another part of Yala.

Sa-ari Bahostar, 42, was an assistant village headman of Moo 4 (village No. 4) in Tambon Baro, Yaha district.

Gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed him as he was leaving a local mosque after Friday prayers.
Sa-ari died on the spot. Before it was removed, his body was covered in a white sheet shaded by a matching umbrella.

Yaha District Chief Kongsakul Chantarat said he believed Sa-ari may have been the victim of a personal conflict.

“The suspects are likely the people in the same village,” Kongsakul told BenarNews.

In neighboring Yala province, a third man, a former paramilitary identified as Marohki Maelae, was fatally shot by unknown gunmen as he drove his pickup truck in Baan I-kuleng village, Sisakorn district.

A violent week

Friday’s killings followed the violent deaths this week of at least two other people in the Deep South.

On Thursday in Pattani province, 20-year-old Ilham Guta was fatally shot by unknown assailants as he worked in a shop in Tambon Kolotanyong, Nongjik district, police said.

Five days earlier, a bomb exploded at a railway station in Rue Soh, Narathiwat province, injuring 10 people. On Monday, one of the casualties, a ranger identified as Sgt. Thaweerat Onkwanpet, died of his wounds from the blast.

Authorities step up security

Meanwhile, police and security forces in southern Thailand were preparing for the possibility of violence around the BRN’s 55th anniversary.   

In Songkhla province, authorities were mobilizing additional security personnel to guard seven districts at risk of insurgent attacks, Police Col. Triwit Sriprapa said.

Security forces were watching out for 10 vehicles that had been identified as potentially being rigged with bombs. Last week, authorities had alerted the public by circulating images of the suspicious vehicles.


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