Three soldiers of a ranger company were wounded when their armoured vehicle was ambushed by militants while on their way to attend a meeting in Chanae district of Narathiwat province on Wednesday (Aug 9) morning, police said.
The incident occurred at about 9.30am after Lt Paiboon Boonchuay, 50, deputy commander of Ranger Company 4902 of the 49th Rangers Regiment, left the company’s operation base at Ban Kayae along with two volunteer rangers – Wacharin Thongkhao and Nathawut Daengduang – to attend a meeting on a project to help farmers in Chanae district.
While nearing Ruepo village, a bomb which had been buried at a spot on the road was detonated. The explosion caused minor damage to the vehicle. Lt Paiboon ordered the driver to speed away.
About 100 metres from the first spot, the second bomb went off, causing a power post to fell. At the time, a number of militants hiding on both sides of the road opened fire at the vehicle with AK47 rifles.
Lt Paiboon again ordered the driver to flee the scene to stop at a village about 1 kilometre away. Both sides of the armoured vehicle were hit by bullets and its windshield and rear windows shattered. The left front tyre and right rear tyre of the vehicle burst after being hit by bullets.
Lt Paiboon was hit by shrapnel and wounded in the left shoulder. The two volunteer rangers were also wounded – Wacharin in the left side of the body and Nathawut over the left eye. They were admitted to Chanae Hospital.