At Least 15 Dead After Mass Shooting in Thailand

Officials suspect “separatist insurgents” are responsible for the violent attack.

At least 15 people were fatally shot and four others wounded in southern Thailand, the deadliest attack in the area in recent years. 

The violence ensued when gunmen reportedly took over a security checkpoint in Yala province on Tuesday night. 

Local police cited “separatist insurgents” as likely perpetrators of the attack. Separatists have been fighting for an independent region in southern Thailand for decades.

At least 12 people were killed on the scene after a group reportedly stole several military guns and opened fire. Two others died at the hospital, and one died Wednesday morning, officials told AFP. The victims included a police officer and multiple volunteers who were trained to protect the village. 

The attackers reportedly laid down nails and explosives to prevent people from chasing after them. They have not yet been officially identified. 

While it was the worst single attack in recent years, it was one of many in a decades-long insurgency in the country that has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 7,000 people since 2004.