Three hurt in 7-11 double blast

Militants staged 29 attacks including at least three bombings, conducted several drive-by shootings and set fires including to a stack of tyres that stopped bus and highway traffic out of Pattani town on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

  • Published: 24/02/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

INCONVENIENCE STORE: Bomb disposal officers inspect the blast site in front of a 7-Eleven store opposite the 45th Ranger Regiment. Two bombs were detonated at the site in Narathiwat’s Rangae district Satuday, injuring three people.

Earlier Saturday, a three-year-old was among three people injured when a 7-Eleven store in Narathiwat was rocked by two explosions.

In Narathiwat earlier Saturday, the wounded were identified as Muhammadsorbri Marong, 34, a village defence volunteer, military ranger Thanuthan Mareh, 27, and three-year-old Afhal Jehnae.

Police said insurgents detonated the first bomb inside a rubbish bin in front of the store in tambon Tanyongmas, Rangae district at about 4.20pm.

Minutes later they set off a second bomb, planted inside a motorcycle. The victims were all nearby when the explosions took place.

A pickup truck and four motorcycles parked in the area were also damaged.

Police said footage from a nearby CCTV camera showed that two teenagers riding a motorcycle had planted the two bombs. The convenience store is located close to a military base.

Mr Muhammadsorbri's right leg was injured in the incident, while Mr Thanuthan suffered a facial injury. Afhal suffered a serious chest wound and ear damage.

Another blast occurred in tambon Anohru in Pattani's Muang district. Police said militants planted a bomb inside a trash bin in Na Klua Road Soi 2. Nobody was injured.

Militants also burned tyres, motorcycles and telephone poles in Sai Buri, Nong Chik, Mayo and Muang districts of Pattani.

Telephone and mobile phone signals in Pattani were disrupted by the attacks.

Meanwhile, two people were seriously injured in a drive-by motorcycle shooting in Pattani Saturday. The shooting took place at about 4.50pm on Pattani Sai 42-Hat Yai Road in tambon Donrak of Nong Chik district. The victims were Harn Ratcharoen, 52, and Supannee Watkaew, 41.

Police said Ms Supannee, a vegetable vendor in Pattani municipality market, had hired Mr Harn, a motorcycle taxi driver, to take her to her home in Nong Chik district.

The pair were shot in the back by an assailant riding pillion on another motorcycle. The attackers drove away after the shooting. Both victims are being treated at Pattani Hospital.

In Yala, militants set off a bomb in a telephone booth on the side of Yala-Betong Road Saturday morning. Nobody was injured.

Security measures were beefed up Saturday in Songkhla's Hat Yai shopping district after intelligence reports warned of possible attacks.

Many shopowners are on high alert and have installed CCTV cameras both inside and outside their shops.

In response to the reports, authorities will perform a drill on Tuesday in front of the Lee Garden Hotel on Nipat Uthis 1 Road in Hat Yai district to prepare for any attacks.

Despite the reports and Saturday's attacks, the National Security Council's secretary-general said soldiers and security officials have managed to bring violence in the deep South under control.

Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr said recent attacks were mostly cases of insurgents being forced to carry out daily strikes in a limited number of areas as soldiers and security officials were in control of most other spots. As a result the violence was limited in its impact and would not spread, he said.

Lt Gen Paradorn made the comments Saturday on the weekly Yingluck Government Meets the People television programme. He said he had been assigned by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to keep the public informed about the South after a series of attacks took place in Pattani and Narathiwat last week.

The attacks are seen as retaliation against the government after marines killed 16 militants during a failed insurgent raid on their base in Narathiwat's Bacho district on Feb 13.

Lt Gen Paradorn said he would send his staff to talk to relatives of victims of the southern violence, especially the relatives of the 16 militants killed on Feb 13.

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