BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): One ranger was killed, and four soldiers injured in the wee hours of Tuesday (Aug 3) when suspected insurgents began launching grenades at the makeshift army camp in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district.
The army has set up a makeshift camp on the banks of Sungai Kolok River to prevent people from sneaking across the natural border between Thailand and Malaysia. The camp comprises eight soldiers and five tents.
A soldier said that some 15 suspected insurgents began firing grenades at the camp through an M79 grenade launcher from the Malaysian side. They also lobbed pipe bombs and began firing automatic weapons at the tents, prompting the soldiers to return fire.
“There was an exchange of gunfire for about 15 minutes until the other side stopped firing and probably fled the scene after realising that they could not seize the camp,” the soldier said.
“Once the smoke cleared up, we found the body of volunteer ranger Kiattikhajorn Nakhadee with multiple gunshot wounds along with over 50 bullet casings and some 10 exploded pipe bombs.”
Four other soldiers also sustained non-critical injuries and were sent to Sungai Kolok Hospital.
Regiment chief Colonel Thaweerat Benjathikul said he believes the attack was in response to the recent extrajudicial killing of Rosalee Lamso, a suspected insurgent for whom an arrest warrant had been issued in Pattani’s Nong Chik district.
“The soldiers were prepared as we expected an attack and were able to prevent insurgents from seizing the camp, though the attack has resulted in the tragic loss of an army personnel,” he said. - The Nation/Asia News Network