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Hunt on for gunman-rapist who attacked students

A police sketch of the suspect

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KALASIN: Three teams of police detectives were on Wednesday hunting a man suspected of shooting a student motorcyclist in the face and abducting and raping his female passenger early Tuesday morning.

The exhausted 21-year-old woman, a university student, stumbled into Phu Phan police station in adjoining Sakon Nakhon province about 5am. She told police she had been set free on Phu Phan mountain after being raped.

Sema Saengrit, the 23-year-old male student, told police a pickup truck cut in on his motorcycle in Na Mon district of Kalasin about 1am on Tuesday. A man in the truck then shot him in the face with a gun before abducting the young woman student who was his pillion rider.

He was lucky because the bullet only pierced his cheeks, he said, but he played dead and later called for help. 

Mr Sema said the attack occurred while he and the woman were returning to their university after buying food. He said that neither he nor the woman knew their attacker.

Pol Maj Gen Montree Charanpong, chief of Kalasin police, said on Wednesday that teams from Na Mon police station, Kalasin police headquarters and Provincial Police Region 4 were involved in the hunt.

Surveillance camera footage showed the suspect at a convenience store, but police had yet to find the licence plate number of his black Toyota Vigo pickup truck, the chief said. Detectives had found a spent bullet casing near the crime scene from a 9mm gun which was believed to have been used in the attack.

The two victims said they were not sweethearts, but police had not ruled out a love affair as a possible motive, Pol Maj Gen Montree said.

Police had a sketch of the face of the alleged culprit and expected to arrest him soon, he said.

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