Police charged with attempted murder at checkpoint

Bullet holes are left on a pickup truck, which broke through a police checkpoint at a village in Muang district, Narathiwat, early Sunday.

NARATHIWAT: Three policemen face allegations of attempted murder after two young men were shot and seriously wounded at a checkpoint in Muang district early on Sunday morning.

The details were posted on the Internal Security Operation Command (Isoc) Region 4's forward headquarters website on Tuesday.

According to the daily situation report from the Royal Thai Police southern border provinces operation centre, the shooting occurred shortly after 2am on Sunday at a police checkpoint on a road through Ban Kamphaeng village in tambon Kaluwo in Muang district.

A Toyota Vigo pickup with five young men on board approached the checkpoint. Three policemen in plainclothes signalled them to stop for a search.

The driver of the pickup did not stop and sped through the checkpoint. The three policemen opened fire at the fleeing vehicle. Two young men in the pickup were hit by bullets and seriously wounded  - Ni-alfar Cheni, 18, and Hanafi Matahe, 21. The pickup came to a halt and they were rushed to Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Hospital.

Mr Ni-alfar's father, Asueming Cheni, 49,  said his son and friends had gone camping at the  reservoir near Ban Phikunthong village. About 2am, his son and four friends left the campsite in the pickup to buy some food at a 24-hour convenience store.

As they neared the police checkpoint, three men in plainclothes signalled them to stop.  Uncertain whether they were real police, the driver sped past the checkpoint. The three men opened fire at them, Mr Asueming said.

A complaint was filed with Tanyong police, accusing the three policemen of attempted murder.

Pol Maj Gen Waesame Salae, the Narathiwat police chief, said the three officers were based at Tanyong police station. They were assigned by their commander to set up the checkpoint at the village following a report that an amount of drugs would be delivered through the area.

Following the filing of the complaint, the three policemen manning the checkpoint were initially charged with attempted murder, pending further investigation, Pol Maj Gen Waesamae said.


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