Bangkok restaurant attack, soldiers open fire on customers

Khrua Yira restaurant on Ratchaphruek Road in Taling Chan district, Bangkok, the scene of the overnight incident involving soldiers. (Photo taken from Khrua Yira Ratchapruek Facebook page)
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Four men enjoying a night out at a restaurant were seriously injured when they were attacked by six men, two in military uniform, wielding stuns guns and firing pistols, late on Wednesday night.

The attack occurred around midnight at Khrua Yira restaurant on Ratchaphruek Road in Taling Chan area,   Pol Lt Col Pipat Vorachotsakdakorn, chief investigator at Bang Sao Thong, said on Thursday morning.

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Police and rescue workers sent to the scene found four men lying in pools of blood near the music stage.

They were identified later as Phuthanet Choeycha, 33, Phinit Poonsamararn, 50, Chaimongkhol Sangsuk 49, and Arnat Thongbai, 40.

Mr Phuthanet had a gunshot wound to his right temple and severe burns to his right eye. He was unable to see.

Mr Phinit was shot in the mouth, while Mr Chaimongkhol had a bullet wound to his right wrist and burns to his right eye. Mr Arnat was shot in the right breast, the bullet remained inside.

They were rushed to Siriraj Hospital, Thai media reported.

Chamanant Sangsuk, 20, told police that he had been drinking at the restaurant with his four older friends. Shortly before closing time, a singer’s cheerful song had inspired them to get up and dance on the stage.

Shortly after they returned to the table, six men who had been sitting near the stage – two wearing military uniforms, two in safari jackets and two in casual dress – walked over to them.

The two men in safari suits carried electric stun guns. They zapped Mr Phuthanet in his eye, blinding him, and then attacked the other members in his group, said Mr Chammanat. The two soldiers pulled out pistols and opened fire. The 20-year-old was unhurt.

After the attack, the six men fled on two motorcycles and a car.

Police were examining surveillance camera footage from the restaurant and area nearby.

Thai media reported the assailants were soldiers providing protection to a well-known businessman, a former military officer.

Police said they were talking with a person close to those soldiers, asking that they surrender.

-The Bangkok Post

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