Fifteen people were killed on Wednesday during a gun battle between members of a drug gang and Thai military personnel in Chiang Mai Province near the border of Myanmar.
Thai Post reports that the gunfight between Thailand’s Pha Muang Task Force and drug network members took place near the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet.
A group of 20 individuals was discovered by Thai paramilitary rangers trying to enter Chiang Mai from Myanmar before being ordered to stop.
When the group of drug traffickers spotted the military personnel, a confrontation immediately ensued, with gunfire exchanged between the two sides for about ten minutes.
Officers inspected the area in the aftermath of the skirmish and found 15 dead. They seized modified backpacks containing 29 bags of crystal methamphetamines, one rifle, and one hand grenade.
Commander of the Pha Muang Forces, Major General Suparerk Sathapornphol, inspected the accident site and ordered close surveillance out of concern for repeat attempts at smuggling.
Officials from Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar participated in a recent meeting in Luang Prabang to strategize methods to curb drug trafficking in the region, particularly near the Golden Triangle.