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Bangkok Post (2/5/99)

<bold>Attack badly damages police station</bold> 

Intruders believed to be Burmese troops


	Foreign intruders suspected to be Burmese troops and pro-Rangoon Karen
rebels stormed a Thai border police station with grenades and automatic
gunfire early yesterday morning.

	An informed police source said the intruders, numbering about 20, first
abducted a Thai villager, identified as Atchavat Sri-ngarm, 36, and
forced him to lead them to the Ban Nam Piang Din police station, located
about two kilometres from the Thai-Burmese border.

	Then the intruders surrounded the police station and opened fire with
grenade launchers and automatic gunfire.

	The station was manned by four policemen who put up a brief resistance
before retreating further inland.

	Atchavat later said he managed to escape from his captors when the
firefight started.

	After the attack, which badly damaged the police station, the intruders
pulled back into Burma with three Thai hostages who were later released

	Police reinforcements which were rushed to the scene yesterday found 15
spent shells of M79 grenades.

	Pol Lt-Gen Aram Chanpen, commissioner of 5th Region Provincial Police,
later inspected the site with the provincial governor, Amorphan Nimanan,
and admitted he did not know why the small police station had come under

	He said Ban Nam Piang Den was a popular tourist attraction to see the
long-necked Padaung tribespeople. He said he had asked local police
officers and were told they did not have any conflict with the Burmese or
the Karens.

	The police commissioner appealed to the government to hold talks with