PATTANI – Thailand Souther Army Security Forces have killed three suspected insurgents in a heated gunfight with at a the Yuwa Islam Witthaya a private religious school located in Ban Nam Sai of Luboh Yirai sub-district of Pattani Province.
Officials reported the gunfight broke out this morning after army rangers attempted to apprehend five suspects on terror charges who were residing at a madras in Mayo district, army officers told Khoasod.
However, the five men fired their weapons at the soldiers, forcing the officers to shoot back at the school building, the army says.
The firefight continued for several hours, until soldiers overran the compound at around 2.30 pm. Security officers told reporters three militants died in the gunfight, and two were arrested.
During a lull in the fighting soldiers also reportedly evacuated residents from the surrounding area and invited religious leaders to negotiate with the suspects, but the talks broke down.
Authorities allege that the suspected insurgents were responsible for killing four soldiers and injuring two others on the Mayo-Palas Road in Mayo district on July 28, 2012.
It is unclear what the suspects were doing in the religious school prior to the clash.