In the deadliest spate in weeks, suspected insurgents shot dead six people in a series of attacks carried out Tuesday and Wednesday in Thailand’s Deep South, police said.
The killings over a 24-hour span were the most in the region since three people were killed and four injured in a flurry of gun and bomb attacks on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.
The latest attacks brought to 29 the number of people killed in Thailand’s predominantly Muslim and Malay-speaking southern border region since Sept. 1, despite ongoing negotiations between the Thai military government aimed at opening formal peace talks with rebel groups. Another 67 people were injured in attacks dating since then, according to data compiled by BenarNews.
Police said the six were killed and two others were injured in separate shootings in Pattani and Narathiwat, provinces in the Deep South.
The shootings began when a militia officer and his wife were killed in Nong Chik, a district of Pattani. Police identified the couple as Thawat Pongsuwan and his wife, Papimon Chaikong. They were gunned down while riding a motorcycle to pick up their daughter.
Later on Tuesday, a village headman in Pattani’s Yaring district, Pradab Ma-inchon was shot dead in a pickup truck with his wife, Amphan Ma-inchon, who was treated for injuries at the Yaring Hospital. Police said the couple was heading to the hospital when the shooting occurred, police said.
Soon after, Duan Srirat, 38, an employee of the provincial electricity authority, was killed in Panarae, another district of Pattani.
The last incident on Tuesday occurred when the bullet-ridden body of volunteer ranger Adul Yamyae was found, Saiburi district, Pattani.
At 2 a.m. Wednesday, police at the Yee Ngor police station in Narathiwat province reported that Alfeesa Yima, 25, was injured while driving home in Lubo buesa in Yee Ngor district in Narathiwat province.
Later, in the Janae district of Narathiwat, Abdulachi Dolah, 31, was shot and killed while driving home.
The region has seen more than 15,000 gun or bomb attacks and more than 6,700 people have been killed since the decades-old separatist insurgency re-ignited January 2004, according to Deep South Watch, a local think-tank.