Thai security forces shot and killed 15 hill tribesmen and seized an unspecified quantity of illegal narcotics as they were trying to cross the border from Myanmar into Fang district of Chiang Mai last night (Wednesday).
A contingent of troops and paramilitary rangers, from the Pha Muang Task Force, was sent to the mountainous border area in Mon Pin sub-district to intercept the smuggling operation,as part of their anti-drug campaign.
As the forces laid in wait along the jungle trail used by drug traffickers, about 20 men showed up with backpacks. Thetroops told the men to stop for a search, but were fired upon.
A 10 minute gun battle ensued and, when it subsided, the security forces stayed put until dawn, when it was safe for them to search the area.
15 bodies were found and 29 backpacks filled with crystal methamphetamine (Ice). One carbine rifle and a hand grenade were also found at the scene.