PATTANI – An army volunteer ranger is under arrest for allegedly shooting at his squadmate over a dispute in the restive southern province of Pattani.
Police say Sayan Paksasorn opened fire at Sgt. Manasak Pakchim at a checkpoint near Prom Prasit Temple in Panare district yesterday.
According to police, the two had a heated argument as they were manning the security checkpoint, and Sayan ended up using his firearm to shoot at Sgt. Manasak. The wounded sergeant was transported to Panare Hospital.
Sayan waited "calmly" for police officers to arrive and take him into custody, police say. It is not immediately clear if the suspect has been charged.
Tens of thousands of troops, policemen, and armed volunteer rangers, have been deployed in the southern border provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala, where separatist insurgents are attempting to create a breakaway Islamic sultanate.
More than 6,200 people have been killed since secessionist violence broke out in 2004. Many of the deaths are caused by roadside bombings and attacks on security force and civilians suspected of collaborating with the Thai state, though human rights activists have also documented many cases of brutality and abuse of power by security forces in the region.
In August, a volunteer ranger admitted to killing a local 14-year-old boy and planting a firearm on his body to falsely implicate him as an insurgent.
More recently, an army private shot at and killed three soldiers at their base in Pattani province in November. Police say the private was "drunk" at the time.
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