Fatal gun attacks, bombing shake Thailand's south

Paramilitary ranger, female gas station employee killed and 9 other people injured in separate attacks blamed on insurgents

Fatal gun attacks, bombing shake Thailand's south

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thailand’s insurgency-plagued Muslim south was rocked by violence Thursday that saw a group of gunmen kill one paramilitary ranger and injure two others in Narathiwat province, while an attack at a gas station in neighboring Pattani left a young woman dead and seven other people wounded.

Police major Chanawut Kuetsai, deputy-investigator at Sungai Kolok police station in Narathiwat, told Anadolu Agency, “ten insurgents riding motorbikes shot with AK-47 automatic rifles at three paramilitary rangers who were on duty in front of a school in Sungai Kolok district.”

He said a ranger who sustained several bullet wounds died on the spot, while two others tried to escape but were chased and injured by the gunmen.

“The insurgents then took the weapons of the three military,” Kuetsai added.

Two hours later, another attack occurred at a gas station in Khokpho district of Pattani province.

Police major Kiatchai Nakre of the Khokpho police station said that an armed group arrived at the site and shot at a female employee, killing her instantly.

“After the killing, they placed a remote-controlled bomb at the gas station, and when police and paramilitary rangers came to investigate the incident, the bomb exploded injuring seven persons,” he said, without disclosing how many security officers were among the wounded.

Local police are blaming the attacks on insurgents, who have been waging a violent campaign against the central Thai state and its representatives in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, as well as several districts of Songkhla province.

Last week, Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) released a report saying that dialogue between the military government and the insurgents “has foundered” because both sides “prefer hostilities to compromise”.

“The National Council for Peace and Order [NCPO], which seized power in the 2014 coup, professes to support dialogue to end the insurgency but avoids commitment,” the report said, referring to the ruling junta by its official name.

On the insurgent side, the main active group -- the National Revolutionary Front (BRN) -- has “rejected the process”, and the degree of control an main umbrella group involved in the talks -- Mara Patani -- has over rebels active on the ground is “unknown”, according the report.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Eylül 2016, 15:58