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Insurgent killed in firefight with soldiers

Thailand’s gun control remains problematic

A suspected insurgent wanted under court warrants for three security-related cases was killed in a firefight with an army special operations unit in Muang district of this southern border province on Saturday, police reported.

On Saturday afternoon, the army unit laid siege of house No 120/3 at Moo 2 village in tambon Kaluwo Nua following a tip-off from informants that a suspected insurgent had hidden there.

At about 5.30pm, the suspect fired sporadic shots from the house.

Later at 6.30pm the suspect opened fire in an attempt to break through the siege. A firefight ensued.

After the gunfire went silent, the soldiers cleared the area and found the suspect – Abdul Hakam Chema, 32 – lying dead in the house. A .45 pistol was found near him.

Abdul Hakam was wanted under three warrants. The first one, dated March 23, 2017, for shooting to death a man, Pakorn Likekanwong, in Narathiwat on Feb 10, 2017; the second, dated June 14, 2018, for an attack on defence volunteers in Yi-ngo district, Narathiwat, on Dec 30, 2016; and, the third, dated July 11, 2018, for grenade attacks at three spots in Narathiwat on June 19, 2017.

Lt Gen Kriangkrai Srirak, the 4th Army Region commander, had offered condolences to the family of the suspect, saying the authorities had acted within the scope of the law.

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