Bangkok, Jan 13 (EFE).- Thai soldiers killed five alleged drug traffickers in the north of the country in the third clash in just over a month with gangs organized in this area within the so-called Golden Triangle, where the country borders with Myanmar and Laos, military sources reported Friday.
The military reported on its Facebook page that the clash occurred in the early hours of Thursday in a jungle area in Chiang Rai province when suspected traffickers began shooting at soldiers.
The soldiers seized 500,000 methamphetamine pills and a pistol.
On Monday, the military killed six people who found some 300 kilograms of ketamine in the neighboring province of Chiang Mai, while a similar event on Dec. 8 near the Myanmar border that ended with 15 deaths.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said at the beginning of last year that the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021 has led to an explosion of production by drug laboratories who settle near the border.
The drug produced in the Golden Triangle – the region of the Mekong River where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet – has flooded nearby countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and China, and traditionally reached more distant areas such as Australia, New Zealand or Bangladesh.
There has also recently been an increase in the number of opium plantations in Myanmar – the world’s second largest opium producer, after Afghanistan – after years of decline. EFE