HAT YAI, Thailand — Suspected Islamic insurgents killed five plainclothes officers and then stole their weapons in an attack Wednesday in Thailand's restive south, police said.
About five to six militants followed a pickup truck carrying the undercover policemen and attacked them on a road in Thung Yangdaeng district in Pattani province, Police Col. Kowit Rattanachote said.
He said the police pulled over their car and attempted to take cover after the insurgents started firing into their vehicle.
The bodies of four policemen were found next to the vehicle and another was found inside.
The officers belonged to a regional police squad that cracks down on oil smuggling.
Kowit said the militants searched the police's vehicle and took away their weapons before fleeing in a pickup truck.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in predominantly Buddhist Thailand's three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004.