Masorae gets blame for attack

Security authorities believe an insurgent group led by Masorae Duerama carried out Wednesday's deadly gun attack in Pattani that left six civilians dead and seriously wounded another.

  • Published: 3/05/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Mr Masorae, from tambon Pakaharang in Pattani's Muang district, allegedly specialises in assembling bombs. The suspected rebel leader is wanted on several arrest warrants for a string of attacks in the deep South, a source said.

Authorities survey the scene at a Pattani grocery shop where militants opened fire, then walked up to six gunshot victims including a two-year-old boy - and shot each in the head. (AFP photo)

Security officers pinned the blame on members of Mr Masorae's insurgent group for the attack on a grocery shop in tambon Rusamelae in Pattani's Muang district on Wednesday night.

Bullets hit seven people who were inside and in front of the shop.

Six of them, including a two-year-old boy, died instantly and one was seriously wounded.

The attack was carried out by four armed men on two motorcycles. Before fleeing, the assailants also fired shots at a nearby garage, causing 10 people to flee. Several vehicles and the garage, which also served as the owner's house, were left riddled with bullets.

One bullet narrowly avoided hitting the eight-year-old daughter of the garage owner who was reading a book in her bedroom at the time of the attack.

Security officers yesterday collected evidence at the grocery shop, while relatives of Watcharin Nuansai, 34, the owner of the shop whose husband and two-year-old son were killed in the shooting, helped clean up the shop.

Pol Lt Gen Paitoon Chuchaiya, chief of the Southern Border Police Operating Centre, yesterday inspected the attack scene and expressed his regrets over the deaths.

Four war weapons were found to have been used in the shooting.

Each had been used in several attacks in Pattani, Pol Lt Gen Paitoon said.

A source said witnesses saw the four assailants wearing military-style uniforms and scarves.

Spent shells found at the attack scene were mostly from M16 and AK rifles.

In Yala's Muang district, copies of a leaflet claiming the attack in Pattani was an act of revenge for the deaths of four rebels killed earlier by security officers were found on Siroros Road near Yala railway station yesterday.

The leaflet claimed insurgents would kill people, including women and children, to put pressure on the government to accept demands set by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN).

National Security Council secretary-general Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut yesterday insisted the attack had nothing to do with the peace talks under way in Malaysia between Thai authorities and the BRN.

He also shrugged off claims the attack was aimed at pressuring Thailand to accept the BRN's five demands.

Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre director Thawee Sodsong has ordered a panel to determine the motive for the attack.

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