(24 May) Shotguns were fired and homemade explosives thrown during early morning clashes between rival teenage gangs in Rongkluang district of Ranong province.
Mueang Ranong police received emergency call (191) at 05.00 am informing them of the sounds
of gunfires and explosives in Rongkluang district, and officers rushed to the scene to investigate.
The incident took place in front of flat buildings inside Rongkluang community when a group of
teenagers on 3 motorcycles reportedly arrived and shot at 10 teenagers sitting at a table at the
side of the road.
According to witnesses, they also launched 2 explosives which caused a
loud roar heard 1 km away. Mr.Chalermchai Niyomtum, 19, was injured in his right thigh where a
bullet fragment from a shotgun pellet. He received first aid from volunteer rescue workers and was
sent to Ranong hospital.
Initial investigations reveal that before the incident, the
teenagers in Rongkluang gang were being pursued by the teenagers gang of Bangrin and the teenagers
gang of Soi 10 on motorcycles from the district office along Ruangrat road but they were able to
escape into their community area. However, the pursuers eventually found them and chaos ensued.
Explosion marks were found on the road, along with the burns traces of nitrate. Black duct
tape and fabric scraps scattered about. A detonator device was also found lying on the floor, 10
meters from the spot were blood trails of the victim. Several shotgun shells and grain pellets were
also found at the scene.
It is suspected that the culprits have made their own explosive
using shotgun shells and grain pellets as shrapnel, wrapping it in glass or ceramic shreds, and
using nitrate as the detonator. The concoction was wrapped into a ball using black tape and fabric,
and when thrown to the floor, would have exploded instantly.
Investigative officers of
Mueang Ranong police station questioned witnesses and victims, and concluded that the attack stemmed
from the conflict between the two opposing gangs. The police say they have identified the culprits
and that they will be brought in and prosecuted by law.