One of the two dead men was identified as 29-year-old Amran Mahire with four arrest warrants and who was believed to be linked to the murder of a policeman in the Yarang district of Pattani in 2017. It also emerged that the two men had worked at the resort as construction helpers.
A police assault supported by armed vehicles and helicopters on a two-storey holiday villa at a seaside resort in Pattani brought to an end a siege in which an insurgent gang had refused to surrender after being surrounded early on Monday morning. Initially, it was thought there were three members of the gang but police recovered only two bodies after the 15-minute shootout including the remains of one man linked with a series of terrorist attacks and murders in the southern province.
The standoff in Pattani province ended yesterday afternoon when Thai security forces moved in to arrest an insurgent gang also linked with criminality who had been surrounded at a beach resort in the Yarang district of the southern province early on Monday morning.
Killer gang linked to murdered family holed up at a Pattani resort but refused to surrender peacefully to task force
Two men were killed by the security services in an operation conducted just after 11 am. It appeared that earlier reports of a three-member gang were incorrect.
Forces stormed the holiday villa as they received no response after calls to the group to surrender
The two members of the armed group returned fire at armed forces who stormed the holiday accommodation where they were holed up having refused repeated requests and calls by security services to surrender peacefully.
The gang was believed by members of an elite anti-terror task force to be linked to the murder of 58-year-old Mr Suporn Kittiprapanan, his daughter and nephew while travelling from Hat Yai in Songkhla province on April 24th last on the main Narathiwat to Pattani motorway.
Mr Suporn’s vehicle, a pickup truck carrying produce for sale, was set on fire. At least one of the occupants is believed to have died in the flames which enveloped the vehicle when the gang set it alight after firing repeatedly into it.
The discovery of the insurgent gang cell was linked to the ongoing criminal investigation into that atrocity.
Attempts made to negotiate with the gang after 5 am on Monday failed with no response from the men
The assault on the villa situated near the seafront within the Awada Seaside Resort on Talo Kapore beach went ahead on Monday after security chiefs attempted to negotiate with the gang from 5 am.
This included getting known community and religious leaders to address the armed group.
Assault supported by armed vehicles, helicopters and communications support led by the local police chief
The operation was led and overseen by Police Major General Komkrit Ratanachana, the Commander of Pattani Police forces.
The assault on the two-storey villa took place with extensive communications support as heavily armed units moved in from all directions together with armed vehicles and personnel carriers.
The security forces then began to break down the door of the property and were met by a hail of bullets from the armed occupants inside.
Even as the armed forces pushed forward with their attack, senior officers made announcements via loudspeakers pleading with the insurgency gang to surrender peacefully.
Security services fired tear gas and used grenades leaving two bodies at the rear of the property
To secure entry to the holiday villa, security services fired tear gas and threw grenades inside causing the suspects to retreat to the back of the building from whence they came onto the rear garden.
There they also fired at armed forces who confronted them at one point forcing the security services to retreat until eventually the two men were shot dead.
Police found a thick mattress propped up against the front wall of the building that the insurgents had used to prevent bullets from piercing the structure.
Gunfire and explosions heard for 15 minutes
The bodies of two men were found at the scene together with two 9mm weapons similar to those used in the attack on the innocent family on April 24th.
Police also recovered clothing and an M26 fragmentation hand grenade in an examination of the property and its precincts.
The battle with the gang took 15 minutes during which at least three explosions and continuous gunfire were heard from behind the cordon set up by security services.
Police are now understood to be examining the firearms and explosive devices forensically to gather further intelligence.
Resort manager said the pair had worked as construction staff and he was unaware that they had any criminal or subversive links until this week
It has also come to light that the two men had come to work at the holiday resort as construction workers.
The resort manager told police he had no idea that the pair were linked to criminality or subversive activity.
Police confirmed that one of those killed was 29 year old Mr Amran Mahire who was the subject of 4 arrest warrants and was also linked to a string of killings including the murder of a police sergeant major in the Yarang district in 2017.