Nine police injured in predawn drive-by attack on Highway 410 in Yala

Southern militants attacked a security outpost in Krong Penang district of Yala province before dawn Monday, wounding nine police.

The outpost is located on Highway 410 from Yala to Betong.

Initial report said the heavily armed militants came close to the outpost manned by police, soldiers and volunteers in a pickup truck and opened fire.

The drive-by attack was instantly retaliated by government forces.

In the exchange of fire that lasted almost half an hour, nine police were wounded.

The running militants later escaped in the truck under hit pursuit by a border police armoured car.

The militants and their elements in the area also strewned sharpened spikes and cut trees to impede the chase

A police armoured car on hot pursuit was unable to chase further after its tyres were all puntured by sharpened spikes.

All wounded police were later admitted to Krong Penang hospital while security authorities alerted all road checkpoints to look and hunt for the escapees.