Suspected Thai insurgents shot dead a couple and wounded a toddler Friday in Thailand’s Deep South, in a nighttime attack amid heightened security after gunmen killed 15 people last week at two security outposts in the region, officials said.
In Friday’s attack, gunmen opened fire as Anukoon Khunkaew, 60, and his wife, Yupin Khunkaew, 55, were riding a motorbike with a 2-year-old girl on their way home in Mae Lan, a district of Pattani province, investigators said.
“We ordered the officers and patrol units to hunt down the assailants,” Maj. Gen. Piyapong Wongchan, the provincial police chief, told reporters. “The operation includes setting up checkpoints to search for those who we believe are suspected insurgents in the area.”
The attack was the first bloodshed believed to be linked to the separatist insurgency since the 15 were gunned down in neighboring Yala province on Nov. 5.
The girl, believed to be the couple’s grandchild, suffered injuries and was taken to a local hospital, Capt. Natthanon Inthongmak, Mae Lan’s deputy police chief, told reporters.
He said the couple, who were ambushed after they left a local market, were parents of a police sergeant who serves in Yala.
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