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Thai army rangers admit killing three boys: police

NARATHIWAT, Thailand -- Two Thai army rangers have confessed to shooting dead three young brothers in the country's violence-torn deep south in an attack that sparked a spate of gruesome tit-for-tat killings, police said Tuesday.

Maming Bin Mama, 21, and Sagrueara Jaehsea, 25, confessed on Monday to gunning down the brothers — aged three, five and nine — as they returned home from a local mosque in Bacho last month.

The men also shot the boys' mother, who was pregnant, although she survived the attack.

The district is among the most volatile in Narathiwat province — one of three Muslim-majority southern provinces blighted by a decade-long insurgency which has claimed around 6,000 lives.

Police said the rangers carried out the attack after the boys' father allegedly shot dead Maming's brother and sister-in-law last August in the same district.

The father was arrested but later released with insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

“They (the rangers) confessed that the killings were motivated by revenge,” provincial police commander Pattanawuth Angkanawin told AFP, adding the men gunned down the children by accident as they tried to kill the father — who escaped unharmed.

Another suspect was still at large, Pattanawuth added. The two men remain in custody.

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