Dramatic Pattani attack leaves 5 police injured

THAILAND - A police substation in Pattani's Thung Yang Daeng district came under suspected insurgent attack on Thursday night, leaving two officers with serious gunshot wounds and three others with burns after the attackers set fire to the facility before fleeing.

The provincial police chief, Pol Maj-General Pho Suaysuwan, yesterday praised all seven officers stationed there for their heroic act in defending the facility and driving away the attackers after an extended fight. A trail of blood, likely from wounded attackers, was also discovered at the scene. The attack was apparently planned as the 40 or so attackers split into three teams for a three-pronged assault.

When soldiers from an Army outpost tried to make their way to the substation to help out, a roadside bomb hampered their move. No soldiers sustained any injuries. The attackers also blocked access to the police substation with several felled trees and spikes.

The facility is dubbed the "citizen-servicing station" under the Thung Yang Daeng police station.

Investigators concluded that the three attackers' teams had launched an offensive from three positions, with two of them stationed on upper floors of a building nearby to observe the area and set up vantage points. Before launching the attack, a flare was shot into the air to light up the target, before two rounds of M79 grenades were launched at it, followed by firebomb grenades and automatic gunfire from three directions.

Police are compiling surveillance camera footage to get more information about the attacks and to identify the attackers, who they believe are either local operatives or those from nearby areas.