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Southeast Asia
Four traders gunned down execution-style In Southern Thailand
Armed men tied up four Buddhist fruit traders then shot them in the head one by one in the latest horrendous attack in Yala province early yesterday. Police found the bodies of the victims, including one woman, with their hands tied behind them, in a house in Krong Pinang district at about 1 a.m. The four, a couple and two men, were from the eastern province of Rayong.

Seven gunmen dressed in black arrived in a pickup truck, ambushed the group who were eating their dinner, tied their hands behind their backs and gunned them down. Police suspect the shootings are the work of an terrorist insurgent group led by Issamaae Layalong, which has been involved in the killing of soldiers, police and villagers in Krong Pinang district.

Pol Maj-General Pira Boonlieng said, "The attack was outrageous and has affected people inside and outside the area, as the victims had come to Yala to buy fruit."

He expressed his belief police would be able to take legal action against the gunmen because there was plenty of evidence at the scene. He said, "I already ordered a check be made to see if there are other Thai-Buddhists who have come to the area to buy fruit so we can provide protection for them."

The killings took place less than a week after two rice-farming trainers from the central provinces were killed in Pattani. The two were in Yala to train local farmers to work under the government's project to rehabilitate abandoned paddy fields.

Meanwhile in Pattani, Pisarn Mawae, the district chief of Ma-Yor, who survived an attack in broad daylight on Monday, said he still wished to continue his work and would be more cautious.

Pisarn and other three officials were in a pickup when another pickup with six gunmen traveling in the opposite direction suddenly switched lanes and blocked their vehicle at an intersection. The gunmen then opened fire on the district chief's bullet-proof car. After seeing Pisarn's vehicle could take the bullets, one of the gunmen jumped from the vehicle and fired directly at Pisarn. A bullet hit the leg of a female student on a motorcycle who was nearby.

In related news, a 100-strong security team yesterday at 2 p.m. arrested a suspected bomber of the Lee Gardens Hotel in Songkhla on March 31 last year, identified as 36-year-old Jehmha Wani. Songkhla Court had issued seven warrants for the arrest of Jehmha, three for arson attacks on schools in Chana district in August 2007.
Posted by:ryuge