Krabi village chief dies in hail of bullets
PHUKET: A village chief in Krabi died in a firestorm of bullets from automatic weapons on Saturday evening (July 28), and four villagers riding in the back of his truck are in a critical condition in hospital with bullet wounds.
Monday 30 July 2012, 05:24PM
The shooters remain unidentified and have disappeared.
Police at the Klong Kanan station in Neua Klong district of Krabi received notice of the shooting and hurried to the scene, led by superintendent Pol Lt Col Wisant Rakmahk and Pol Lt Col Pisanu Puangprom, deputy commander of the Krabi Provincial Police.
They found the wreck of village chief Pareuhas Kongbanneuk’s pick-up truck at the edge of the road, the driver’s side windows riddled with bullet holes, with at least 10 more in the bodywork.
Investigators retrieved 20 shell-casings from a M-16 carbine. Pareuhas, 44, had already been rushed to Neua Klong hospital, pronounced dead from twos bullet in his eye and head.
Four others were wounded in the attack.
Also injured in the incident was Koh Sri Boya Tambon Administration Organisation chief Suriya Boosabong, who was driving another vehicle behind Pareuhas’. Trying to avoid collision with the Pareuhas’ pick-up, Suriya lost control and crashed into a tree. He was also taken to hospital.
Investigators said the group was returning from a seminar about a new electricity generating plant scheduled to be built in Krabi.
“The attackers pulled up beside the victim’s vehicle, and gunmen in the rear sprayed three bullets into the truck bed of their target. The driver then pulled ahead, while gunmen continued pouring fire at Pareuhas, causing him to lose control, collide with a road sign, hit a car in the oncoming lane, and swerve into the roadside ditch.”
The attackers then sped off. Police said they radioed an alert to have the suspect vehicle intercepted – but to no avail. “They disappeared without a trace,” police said.
Investigators said that Pareuhas was involved in a couple of disputes that might have triggered the attack. He was in an argument about payment he had not received for doing survey work for the projected Hua Chang port quays, to be used for off-loading coal for the new generating plant.
“He also took part in protests by villagers who seized an oil palm plantation, on which the concession had expired. [The protestors] fell to bickering, however, and split into rival groups. It is possible that this dispute lay behind his assassination.”
Police said investigations would continue “to determine the actual cause”.
– Source Siang Tai