Pattani (Thailand): Police say a Thai teacher was shot dead while having lunch at his school`s cafeteria, the first death of an educator this year in Thailand`s violence-wracked south.
Police Col Pakdee Preechachon said today that 51-year-old Chonlathee Charoenchon was killed by gunmen at Ban Tanyong School in Bacho district in Narathiwat province.
Pakdee said four gunmen entered the school`s compound on two motorcycles, and one of them took the teacher`s car after having shot him.
Nearly 160 school personnel have been killed since an Islamist insurgency first flared in Thailand`s three southernmost provinces in 2004.
A total of more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Muslim-dominated sub-region.
Teachers and security officials have been targeted by the insurgents, whose apparent goal is a separate state from the predominantly Buddhist country.