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Army Ranger Dead, 2 Injured in Insurgent Attack on Checkpoint

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In Thailand’s southern border province of Narathiwat, heavily armed insurgents attacked a road checkpoint on Monday, killing one army ranger and injuring two others.The insurgents split into two groups and approached the checkpoint underneath thick forest cover in Ban Samore, in the Bor Ngor subdistrict, behind a military outpost. At the time, six military rangers and defence volunteers were guarding the checkpoint, including Lance Corporal Aekkachai Mukeb.

From two directions, insurgents fired at the checkpoint with M16 and AK47 assault rifles. The rangers in the outpost returned fire in support of the besieged men, according to Thai PBS.

The fierce firefight lasted only about 30 minutes before the insurgents retreated back into the forest. It was discovered that army ranger Lance Corporal Aekkachai had died at the checkpoint, and two volunteers had been seriously injured.

As reinforcements arrived on the scene, they scoured the surrounding area, finding many spent shells. Two army ranger teams followed the escaping insurgents, and two more were sent to search houses in two villages where they were suspected to be hiding.

On December 14, 2021, an explosion damaged a pickup in a convoy of six vehicles taking rangers to support an operation in the Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat. Thankfully nobody was injured.
Twenty-four rangers were being transported from the operations base of Ranger Company 1005 in Sukhirin district to another unit of Ranger Regiment 48 by three six-wheel trucks and three pickup trucks.
An improvised bomb was placed in the road and detonated remotely by a cell phone as the convoy passed the village. The explosion damaged the front and shattered the windshield of the last vehicle in line, a Toyota pickup.

Malay Muslim militants in the Muslim-majority south of Thailand have been fighting the state for decades. The militants are seeking independence and an end to what they see as Thai colonialism.

They are rooted in the ethnic Malay nationalist resistance to Thai rule that followed the extension of Siamese sovereignty over the Patani sultanate at the beginning of the twentieth century.

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