​Six drug mules dead in firefight with police

March 09, 2014 - 1:05:01 am
BANGKOK:  Six suspected drug dealers were shot dead during a firefight with Thai security forces who seized illegal amphetamines at the scene, police said. 

The clash occurred late Friday evening in a mountainous border area in the Mae Sai district of northernmost Chiang Rai province -- part of the Golden Triangle region.

“Six bodies were found at clash site along with seven bags of methamphetamine,” Colonel Nattawut Yuwan, commander of the Mae Sai police, said by telephone.

“We suspect they were hilltribe (Muser) people,” he said, adding the suspects had been travelling by foot and the clash happened quite close to the border with Myanmar.

Clashes between police and drug traffickers are fairly common in Thailand’s remote border regions.

Thailand has seen a marked increase in seizures of methamphetamine -- which is relatively cheap and easy to make -- often smuggled from neighbouring Myanmar where armed rebels use profits from narcotics to fund their operations.

Plane wheel catches fire

KATHMANDU:  A rear wheel of an Airbus A320 operated by an Indian budget airline caught fire after landing at Nepal’s international airport in Kathmandu yesterday, officials said.

All 176 passengers and six crew on board the IndiGo flight from New Delhi were evacuated through the emergency doors and are safe, Airport General Manager Rishikesh Sharma said. There were no reported injuries.

Sharma said one of the rear wheels of the plane caught fire as the aircraft was heading to the parking bay after landing. 

A statement by IndiGo said the fire was only noticed after parking.

The cause of the fire, that was quickly doused, was not immediately clear, Sharma said refusing to say how big the fire was.