BANGKOK, January 6, 2012 (AFP) - An unidentified rebel group fired grenades targeting Myanmar soldiers on the Mekong river near the border with Thailand, but missed their target, Thai police said Friday.
The grenades landed early Wednesday near the patrol boat, which was accompanying four Chinese cargo ships that had docked at a pier in Tachileik district in eastern Shan state, Police Colonel Atthawoot Onsub said.
"It was an attack which I think they aimed at the Myanmar patrol boat. The unknown rebel group fired grenades... the grenades missed the target," the marine police chief in northern Thailand told AFP.
The incident happened near the so-called "Golden Triangle" area, notorious for drugs smuggling.
Chinese state media said last month that Beijing had deployed more than 300 armed police to patrol the Mekong river in boats in collaboration with Myanmar, Thailand and Laos after a deadly attack in October.
Thirteen Chinese sailors were killed on a section of the river south of China's border, raising concerns in Beijing for the safety of crews and cargoes sailing south through the area.
The Mekong flows through China's southwestern province of Yunnan into Southeast Asia, serving as a major trade route through several countries including Cambodia and Vietnam.