Suspected gunmen conducted several coordinated attacks in the Tak Bai district in Southern Thailand in the early hours of Saturday, 21 October 2023, police stated.
An improvised explosive device (IED) placed inside a fire extinguisher cylinder was detonated outside a gold shop in tambon Chehe, causing damage to the front part of the shop, according to the acting chief of the Tak Bai police station, who was alerted at 1.30am.
“A homemade bomb weighing 20 kg was detonated, causing severe damage to the gold shop,” Lieutenant Colonel Jarukit Sridech said.
He then said a group of unidentified men opened fire at a security checkpoint, just 50 meters from the shop, which led to a 30-minute gun battle between the gunmen and the police. At least seven of the police officers were injured.
However, the gunmen fled into a forest after reinforcements arrived.
Later on, the police received reports stating that a roadside bombing destroyed a power pole close to the security checkpoint. Two more IEDs were found alongside a local road on Saturday morning, so authorities cordoned off the area. Yet another roadside bombing happened in Khosit later during the day, causing 10 power poles to collapse, blocking traffic.
“The motive for the incident is still under investigation,” Jaurikit said.
The incidents took place a few days before the 19th anniversary of the Tak Bai massacre on 25 October, 2004, in which 85 protesters suffocated after being arrested and piled on top of each other while being transported in military trucks.