Gunmen killed three relatives of a former defense volunteer inside a house in Thailand’s insurgency-hit Deep South, police said Wednesday evening, hours after a roadside bombing wounded a soldier and five volunteers.
The gunmen fired into a house in Tung Yang Daeng, a district of Pattani province, killing Hasana Hama, 29, Nusaree Jaemeng, 32 and Yusoh Nilae, 73, authorities said.
“According to the initial investigation, four villains came on two motorbikes and started firing inside the house,” police Lt. Boonthep Kerdmud said.
Earlier, police Lt. Gen. Thompong Petchpiroon, said a roadside bomb injured the six security personnel who were riding in a pickup truck to a school in Tambon Bang Khao, a village cluster in Nong Chik, another district of Pattani.
“The incident occurred while the security officers were on their way to investigate damage to two CCTVs burned down at Ban Sai Mo school,” Thompong said. “All were taken to Nong Chik hospital.”
Col. Komkrit Ratanachaya, who commands the army’s ranger unit in the Deep South, said the attack was likely related to insurgency in the area.
“They performed a violent act to tell us that they are still here, and hope that we would get into it, but we know their intentions,” Komkrit said. “More importantly, local people have cooperated with us.”
Since 2004, nearly 7,000 people have died in violence associated with the insurgency in Thailand’s predominantly Muslim and Malay-speaking southern border region.
In 2015, Thailand’s military-controlled government began peace talks with MARA Patani, a group representing various insurgent groups and factions. However, the Malaysia-brokered negotiations so far have failed to produce a limited ceasefire, which is seen as pivotal to future hopes for settling the long-running separatist conflict.