Thai security forces shot and killed three suspected insurgents during a raid in southern Pattani province on Thursday, authorities said, alleging the men were planning to mount an attack during the fasting month of Ramadan.
The killings of the suspects was the first act of violence since BRN (Barisan Revolusi Nasional, or National Revolutionary Front) rebels declared in early April that they were was ceasing “all activities” on humanitarian grounds because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the group warned it would resume operations if Thai government forces attacked its fighters.
The raid took place before dusk in Pakaruesong, a village in Nong Chik district, as residents of Thailand’s mainly Muslim Deep South were preparing to break their fast at the end of the seventh day of the holy month, officials said.
“Prior to the shootout, we received intelligence that a group of insurgents took a break in the area before they planned to exploit Ramadan to launch an attack,” Maj. Gen. Piyapong Wongchan, the chief of police in Pattani, told reporters. “This morning informants found suspicious strangers hiding in an unregistered house.”
“The raid turned violent as joint security forces surrounded a house in Pakaruesong village,” he said.
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