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Truck theft in Songkhla leads to gunfight and explosion

Aug 16. 2017
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By The Nation

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A daring move to steal five pick-up trucks in Songkhla on Wednesday led to a dramatic series of events, including a hostage-taking, two shootings, a gunfight that killed one assailant, an explosion and the safe disposal of a bomb.

It started about 11am when a group of six or seven armed suspects raided the Wangto Car Centre in Tambon Na Thawi in Songkhla’s Na Thawi district and took the business’s four employees hostage.

Witnesses said the gun-wielding men in black arrived the car centre in a Mazda BT-50 pick-up truck. The four employees were rescued from Tambon Wang Yai, where they were reportedly taken to be shot and killed. Two of the workers managed to flee their captors, but the other two were shot and seriously injured. 

Security officers later retrieved at least four stolen trucks –- one of which was equipped with a bomb that was disarmed safely. Another truck exploded in Pattani's Nong Chik district.

Thai security officers hunted for the assailants and the stolen trucks, which they initially believed could be used in future attacks in the deep South.

One Mitsubishi truck, with licence plate Bor Chor 7182 Yala, was found abandoned on the side of the road after it ran out of petrol. 

Officers who chased another vehicle with licence plate Bor Thor 4063 Phatthalung, engaged in a gunfight at 2pm with an armed assailant who decided to pull over in Tambon Pak Bang of Thepa.

 The gunfight led to the suspect's death. Officers found inside this truck a bomb attached to a cooking cylinder. The bomb squad was called and officers disarmed the explosive safely.

Another truck with the licence plate Kor Or 4995 Songkhla was found exploded at 2.28pm at a bridge in Pattani's Nong Chik district. 

Two other trucks were said to be installed with bombs. At the time of writing, one was heading to Pattani’s Yaring district and the other was spotted on a road outside Muang Yala as of production time.

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