Authorities in Southern Thailand have paid 500,000 baht each in compensation to families of 3 men who were mistakenly killed by the army. Officials said the compensation is “only the beginning” as officials are considering further assistance.
Secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC), Rear Adm Somkiat Pholprayoon said “We have met the victims’ relatives to give them moral support. “We also want to know their living conditions, so we can give more help.”
Haphisee Mada-o, 24; Budeeman Malee, 26; and Manasee Sama-ae, 27 — all from Rangae district; — were gunned down by army soldiers on Dec 16th.
Chief of the 45th Ranger Regiment, Thiphat Aimphan, admitted it was “the soldiers’ mistake.” He also said the officers involved in the shooting have turned themselves in to authorities.
Army Orders Possibly Disobeyed
Previously, Fourth Army Region commander Pornsak Poonsawat said he suspected the soldiers might have disobeyed an order. The order was to not search insurgents’ hideouts in the area without prior authorization.
The mountain is considered as a “no-go” zone. However villagers living near the foot of the mountain disagree with authorities. “We need to raise trees on Tawee mountain to live,” one villager said.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that police have arrested a man accused of gunning down a villager in Yala.
Atsaman Hengtake was detained after a raid in Pattani. The 33-year-old allegedly colluded with two other suspects to ambush Sabawi Salae. He was riding a motorcycle in Muang district and was gunned down, police said.