July 11 (UPI) — Eight members of a family in southern Thailand were massacred in their home Monday evening, according to local police.
Attackers disguised as soldiers gunned down the family of Vorayut Sanglang, a village chief in Krabi, the Bangkok Post reported.
Police said the gunmen wore military-style attire and said they had arrived for a house search at about 4 p.m., Monday.
The assailants threatened the family and warned them not to leave, until Vorayut returned home at about 8 p.m., or four hours later.
The village chief and his family were handcuffed and blindfolded, then fatally shot in the head at about midnight.
Two of the deceased were seriously wounded and died either at the local hospital, or en route to the facility, according to the report.
Three other people are wounded and hospitalized.
Police said they are tracking down the suspects.
Khao Sot news reported Vorayut had “many disputes” in the area known best for its laid-back beaches and tourist attractions.
The attackers made their getaway in the victim’s car, according to BBC.
Conflict in southern Thailand, often involving separatist violence, has resulted in the deaths of more than 6,500 people since 2004, Australia’s The Age reported Tuesday.
The possibility of more instability is high in Thailand, one of Southeast Asia’s greatest economic success stories, because of a “fluid situation” in the country, according to Nicholas Farrelly of Australian National University.
The 2016 death of the much-admired King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a military coup in 2014, and continued violence in southern Thailand “ensures that the country’s triple threat will not disappear overnight,” Farrelly states.
The military has stifled dissent but millions of less well-off people in the country “resent the unfair distribution of opportunity and prosperity,” the analyst said.