Gang street battle leads to death of two tourists caught in crossfire, multiple others injured

A 42-year-old Indian was among two foreign tourists killed and five others, including two Indians, seriously injured in a shootout between two rival gangs here, Thai Police said Monday.

The shooting took place last night on a street behind Centara Watergate Pavillion hotel in Ratchathewi district, where tourist coaches were parked, ‘Bangkok Post’ reported.

Gakhrejr Dheeraj, an Indian, and Keovongsa Thonekeo, 28, a Lao tourist, died at a hospital where other injured are undergoing treatment.

The five people injured in the crossfire were two Thais, two Indians and one Lao. All were taken to a nearby hospital, the report said, quoting police officials.

The Indians were part of a group of tourists who had just had their dinner at an Indian restaurant in the mall and were waiting for their bus at the parking lot.

While they were there, two groups of young men emerged from a nearby snooker club into an alley just beside the parking lot, said police Major General Senit Samararn Samruajkit.

They began a fight that quickly escalated into an armed battle, Samruajkit said.

According to eyewitnesses, around 20 men armed with pistols, knives and sticks ran from the club into the street, he said, adding that three men also opened fire.

The gang members fled as the police arrived at the scene, and none of them was apprehended.

Police have yet to identify the type of rifles used, but spent shells from the AK47 assault rifle were found at the scene.

Police state they have identified the main suspects who were regulars of the snooker club and the dispute was over a game of snooker that escalated to an armed street battle. They stated the killers will be arrested shortly and police are on the trail.