Thai forces kill drug suspects in border clash

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Security forces in Thailand say they have killed eight suspected drug smugglers, seizing weapons and pills in a clash in Chiang Rai province.

Police and military troops clashed with the suspects in a forested area near the Burmese border early on Monday.

Gunfire was exchanged after the suspects refused to be searched, officials said.

The area in the northern province is notorious for drug production and trafficking.

Thailand's The Nation newspaper reported that police had received a tip-off that a drug gang would be crossing the border.

The Thai authorities said they seized more than 500,000 amphetamine pills and 70kg of crystal methamphetamine.

They also found weapons including at least one AK-47 rifle and pistols.

There were no reports of casualties among the Thai security forces.

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