Thai opposition politician assassinated

Anant Klungchan, 54, who served several terms as a Nakhon Si councillor, was hit by multiple shots in the attack at his house in Cha-uat district at 7.45 am.
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A GUNMAN armed with M16 assault rifle gunned down a prominent local politician in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Saturday morning.

Anant Klungchan, 54, who served several terms as a Nakhon Si councillor, was hit by multiple shots in the attack at his house in Cha-uat district at 7.45 am.

Anant, a candidate of the Chart Thai Pattana Party and an adviser to the party leader, was bathing his favourite fighting bull near his house when the gunman cut him down in a hail of bullets.

Witnesses told police the gunman rode in the front passenger seat of an old red pickup truck.

At first the pickup drove past the house, apparently to observe and locate where Anant was.

Then the pickup was driven back and a man in the front passenger seat opened fire at Anant, taking him down and pumping out more bullets while the victim was on the ground before the pickup sped off.

Nakhon Si Thammarat police chief Pol Maj Gen Wanchai Ekpornpit called an urgent meeting of top investigators to launch a swift investigation into the murder.

He said investigators checked footage from closed-circuit TVs along the route that the gunman’s car was believed to have fled. He claimed that police had already obtained useful information for hunting down the assailants.

The provincial police chief declined to speculate on a motive for the killing.

A source from the provincial police head office said the gunman was definitely a professional because he pumped out a lot of bullets that did not miss the target. The source noted that Anant was standing next to his bull but the animal was not shot.

Anant was known to be an influential politician in Nakhon Si Thammarat. He used to be a member of the Democrat Party but switched to Chart Thai Pattana following a dispute.

Previously, he was an adviser to former agriculture minister Teera Wongsamut. He was once charged for demanding a protection fee but was acquitted by the court that heard the case. – The Nation

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