5 People Die in Spate of Violence in Thai Deep South

Mariyam Ahmad and Matahari Ismail
Pattani and Narathiwat, Thailand
5 People Die in Spate of Violence in Thai Deep South Thai police inspect the remains of a pickup truck that assailants burned after shooting three family members in Sai Buri district in Pattani province, Thailand, April 24, 2021.

Five people have died in a spate of violence in Thailand’s insurgency-ridden Deep South, including three members of a family slain when attackers sprayed their truck with bullets and then set it aflame in Pattani province, army officials said.

Officials claimed the gruesome attack was in retaliation for the killing of a suspected insurgent and the arrest of two others in an encounter in Narathiwat two days earlier.

Officers said the Saturday attack took place in Sai Buri district, and the victims were identified as a businessman, Suporn Kittiprapanan, 58, his daughter Jiraporn, 26, and his nephew Santipattana Kittiprapanan, also 26. 

“According to the investigation, four men on two motorbikes pursued their pickup truck, firing a rifle and a 9 mm handgun at them for about a hundred meters until the pickup fell into a ditch,” Col. Yanapong Ubolbarn, commander Pattani Police Bureau, told reporters on Saturday.

The family members were traveling from Had Yai district to Narathiwat province to deliver foam and plastic products, police said.

“The assailants kept firing at them. Jiraporn was dead inside. Suporn was dragged out of the truck and shot dead in the head and body. Santipattana was severely injured, but he pretended to be dead,” Yanapong said.

Lt. Capt. Kittichart Sungkaew, an investigator at Sai Buri police station, told reporters that more than 30 shell casings were found at the scene.

Another police officer said Jiraporn was burned beyond recognition.

Other police sources said Santipattana died as he was being transported to the Somdej Prayupparaj Hospital in Sai Buri district.


On Sunday evening, motorcyclists attacked a police squad at a check point in Raman, a district in Yala, according to a senior police officer.

“There were two teenagers riding a motorcycle that stopped about 15 meters away from them and hurled a pipe bomb which was followed by gun fire, killing one and injuring another,” Lt. Gen. Tinakorn Rangmart told reporters as he inspected the attack site on Monday. 

Neither of these alleged assailants were caught and the spokesman did not say why he identified them as teenagers.

The commander of the southern army said these attackers likely were exacting revenge for their losses on Thursday.

“These increased attacks could be the insurgents’ retaliation for the killing of one and the arrest of two of their comrades in Narathiwat,” said Lt. Gen. Kriangkrai Srirak, the commander of the 4th Army Region that oversees the Deep South.

“Officials have to be careful with their change in tactics, especially during Ramadan in which some insurgents believe they make good deeds by attacking targets during this holy time,” he said referring to the Islamic month of fasting.

Another task force commander said a combatant leader in Sai Buri district identified as “Abdullah” masterminded Saturday’s attack.

“When we have clear evidence we will make an arrest,” Maj. Gen. Komkrit Rattanachaya, the commander of Pattani Task Force said Sunday.

The Deep South encompasses Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala provinces and four districts of Songkhla province. It has been the flash point of armed conflict between government troops and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, Thailand’s largest separatist insurgent group, over several decades.

Since violence reignited in January 2004, more than 7,000 people have been killed, according to Deep South Watch, a think-tank based in Pattani.


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