Unidentified gunmen shot dead a village chief in Pattani province on Thursday, bringing to three the death toll this week in Thailand’s Deep South, the first killings in the insurgency-hit region after a lull since Aug. 22, officials said.
The shooting took place the same day that an unknown number of assailants struck a school building with gunfire in neighboring Yala province, forcing authorities to order a lockdown, authorities said.
Samsuding Saro-ang, 48, the headman of Bahoyiruering village in Pattani’s Sai Buri district, was riding a motorcycle before dawn when he was gunned down, a police investigator told reporters.
“[The victim] was shot at multiple times with handguns and he was pronounced dead on arrival at Yupparat Hospital in Sai Buri,” police Lt. Kittikhun Pongpetch said.
Investigators were still trying to determine the attackers’ motive, but didn’t rule out the possible involvement of separatist insurgents, he said.
On Monday, suspected rebels fatally wounded two village defense volunteers when they opened fire at a motorcycle convoy after detonating a roadside bomb in Koke Pho, another district in Pattani, Maj. Piyawat Chalermsri, the commander of Pattani police bureau, told reporters.
The next day, an unidentified gunman shot and wounded a construction worker who was riding a motorcycle in Pattani’s Maung district, police said.
The victim remains under intensive care at a local hospital, officials said. His wife, who was on the same motorcycle, was unharmed, according to investigators. It was not immediately clear if the attack was insurgency-related.
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