Armed militants opened fire on on two pickup trucks killing three people in Thailand’s deep south Pattani Province on Saturday. Officials said that 3 family members were killed and two pickup trucks burned.
The armed militants opened fire on the vehicles, which burst into flames, in Sai Buri district of Pattani, Province.
The attack occurred around 6.30am. Officers who rushed to the scene found two people dead inside one of the burned-out pickups. Another was seriously hurt and rushed to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
Officers found more than 30 spent cartridges of M19 and 9mm ammunition were found scattered over the road.
The victims were later identified as Suporn Kittiprapanan, 58, who was found dead in the driver’s seat with gunshot wounds to his head and body, and his daughter Jiraporn Kittiprapanan, who had been badly burned.
Santipattana Kittiprapanan sustained serious burns and died in hospital.
Burned pickup trucks
Pattani Police said the three family members had travelled from Hat Yai district in Songkhla in their pickup, loaded with foam and plastic products. They were preparing to deliver the goods to customers in Narathiwat province.
As they were driving four militants on two motorcycles suddenly overtook their pickup and the pillion riders opened fire on it.
The attack caused Mr Suporn to use control of the vehicle, which hit a roadside tree and plunged into a ditch dividing the road. The gunmen walked toward the pickup and opened fire again. They then doused the pickup with petrol then set it on fire with the occupants inside.
No details were available about the second vehicle that was reportedly burned.
Pol Lt Gen Ronnasil Phusara inspected the scene on Saturday and ordered a manhunt for the armed militants.
Pol Lt Gen Ronnasil told a Bangkok Post reporter that he believed the attack is related to the sectarian unrest that has troubled the three southern border provinces for the past two decades.