Disguised gunmen kill four volunteers guarding Thai school

The region has been plagued by a long-running separatist campaign as ethnic Malay rebels battle Thai troops for more autonomy from the Buddhist-majority rule [File: David Longstreath/AP Photo]

Attackers disguised as state security staff have killed four paramilitary volunteers guarding a school in conflict-hit southern Thailand, police said.

The gunmen approached the armed territorial defence volunteers at the school in Pattani province and shot them dead shortly before noon on Thursday, Wicha Nupannoi, police lieutenant colonel, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

They seized four HK33 assault rifles from their victims before fleeing, scattering nails and other material on the road to delay pursuers, he added.

Predominantly Buddhist Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat have long been hit by an armed campaign waged by separatist fighters.

The conflict has killed about 7,000 people since 2004, according to Deep South Watch, a research group monitoring the region.

source: Aljazeera

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