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Southern Thailand Army Commander Says Civilians Killed by Mistake

If the officers were found to be in the wrong, they will face legal consequences. The victims’ relatives will also be compensated, the army commander said.

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The Fourth Army Region commander in southern Thailand has said that security officers shot and killed three civilians “by mistake.” He has also ordered them to turn themselves in as of Thursday.

Lt Gen Pornsak Poonsawat said the officers were due to surrender to local police on Thursday. Once there in custody an official investigation into the shootings can begin.

Three civilian loggers were shot and killed by security officers attached to the 45th paramilitary light infantry.

Lt Gen Pornsak said that the shooting may have been caused by many reasons; — one of which is the officers’ defiance of orders to not venture into the insurgents’ hideout without prior authorization from their superiors; an act which prompted the armed clash at border of Ra-ngae and Cho Airong districts.

Insurgent No Go Zones

“The army chief has repeatedly emphasized that entry to danger zones, such as insurgents’ hideouts — which are clearly marked on security maps — must only be done with prior authorization,” he said.

According to Lt Gen Pornsak, the locations of these “no-go” zones have to be better communicated.

If the officers were found to be in the wrong, they will face legal consequences. The victims’ relatives will also be compensated, the Bangkok Post reported.

Lt Gen Pornsak, also said that a human rights committee will be formed. The committee will consist of respected community figures to better help resolve the matter.

Sayan Sukchan, chairman of the Pithak Tham justice advocacy centre, said special investigation procedures are needed to deal with incidents of abuse perpetrated by authorities.

“Civic groups must take part in such investigations and special prosecutors should be appointed. “The decisions to indict should also be made within 30 days he said.

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