Eight suspected drug smugglers were killed and about one million speed pills seized following an exchange of gunfire along the Thailand-Myanmar border in Chiang Rai late Friday night.
Soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force were sent to patrol the border area in Mae Fa Luang district following a tip-off that a gang would attempt to smuggle drugs from the Myanmar side, Thai media reported.
The patrol later spotted about 10 people walking along a path on a mountain ridge at Lisae village in tambon Mae Fa Luang. They were armed and carrying rucksacks.
The soldiers approached and asked the men to stop for a search. But the suspects opened fire, prompting the soldiers to fire back. The exchange of gunfire lasted about 10 minutes.
Eight more teams of soldiers were deployed to surround the area. When they searched the area around dawn they found 11 abandoned rucksacks containing about one million speed pills. Eight men were found dead, Thai media reported.