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Intruders in shootout with policeme

Bangkok Post 16 November 1997

Mae Hong Son

Agroup of 10 armed Karens clashed with Thai police early yesterday
morning during an attack on the house of a village head in Mae Sariang
district, police said.

Senior Sgt-Maj Suthin Kosarai, a policeman who guarded the house of
Vichian Prom, was attacked with a knife and suffered a severe cut to his
left arm.

The victim is being treated at Mae Sariang hospital and is reportedly in
an improved condition, a colleague said.

Several houses were damaged in the clash but there was no reports of
other injuries.

The intruders exchanged gunfire with the police for about ten minutes
before they retreated.

Pol Col Surachet Topunyanon, superintendent of Mae Sariang police
station, said the armed attackers intended to rob the house for food

He said the police were pursuing the aggressors believed to be fleeing to
Burma and he anticipated a further confrontation.

However, Col Sanchai Jarunwan, a deputy commander of a special task force
at 7th infantry, said yesterday he believed the attack had something to
do with a conflict of interest over logging businesses along the
Thai-Burmese border.