South hit by more bombs
Thirteen people, including 10 security officers, were wounded in a wave of bomb blasts that struck Yala and Narathiwat provinces Saturday.
- Published: 25/05/2013 at 10:52 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
The attacks happened a day after five military rangers were killed in a bomb attack in Pattani's Sai Buri district.
In Yala, a bomb went off about 10.50am between kilometre markers 3 and 4 on Highway 409 (Yala-Ban Niang) in Limud village of Muang district when a van carrying officers from the Southern Border Provinces Police Operation Centre and a pickup truck carrying a police bomb disposal team passed the area.
The explosion blew the van into the roadside ditch, while the pickup truck was damaged.
Moments later, an unknown number of assailants opened fire at the officers from a roadside ambush, and a brief gunbattle ensued. The assailants drove off. Nobody was injured.
The explosion wounded five of the eight bomb disposal officers and three other civilians passing the area.
The five injured officers were named as Pol Sub Lt Sawang Malai, 53, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chaiyud Chanmanee, 42, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Sarawut Daokrajai, 48, Pol Sgt Charnwit Sirimul, 28, and Pol Sgt Somkiart Toeikaew, 35. Pol Snr Sgt Maj Sarawut and Pol Sgt Charnwit were seriously injured.
The three injured civilians were Yuwapa Pomnoi, 37, eight-year-old Ummikulsum Hayee-arwae and a Myanmar worker.
The woman and the girl were travelling on a motorcycle while the Myanmar man was working in the area.
The blast left a crater about 2.8m wide and 80cm deep in the road. Several AK and M16 shells were found in bushes near a deserted rubber sheet warehouse.
Police investigators said there were at least two attackers. The home-made bomb was placed inside a 50kg gas cylinder hidden in the roadside water-drainage pipe. A long wire was found trailing from the bomb to nearby bushes.
The bomb disposal team had earlier been called to inspect coordinated bomb blasts in Yaha and Kabang districts.
Bomb blasts occurred Saturday morning at three locations in Yaha municipal area. Five high-voltage power poles on Yaha-Kabang Road, about 30m from Yupparaj Hospital, collapsed, resulting in power blackouts in many areas.
In nearby Kabang district, bombs went off at three locations. A Government Savings Bank ATM was damaged and two high-voltage power poles collapsed. This caused power blackouts in the district and areas near Songkhla's Saba Yoi district.
Nobody was injured in the blasts.
Pol Col Thawatchai Duksukkaew, chief of Kabang police, said the bombs, which went off simultaneously at 5.15am Saturday, were aimed at creating chaos in Yala during the annual celebrations of the city pillar shrine and the provincial Red Cross fair, which started Saturday.
Meanwhile, five soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in a roadside bomb attack in Narathiwat province.
The bomb went off about 11.10am on Tha Rua-Kotabaru Road in Rueso district when a military pickup carrying the five soldiers passed the area. The attack took place just one kilometre from the officers' outpost.
Lt Chaiwat Kalong, head of the team, said he and his subordinates were returning to their outpost at Batong village when they were attacked.
Investigators said the bomb, placed in a 25kg gas cylinder, was detonated by batteries connected to a wire. The blast left a crater about 1.5m deep and two metres wide.
In Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat, a police team narrowly escaped injury in a bomb attack Saturday.
Pol Maj Kittisan Herkkhunthod, crime suppression chief of Sungai Padi police station who was leading the team, said they had been called in to inspect a gun attack at a police checkpoint near a market in tambon Paluru municipality.
While officers were inspecting the scene, a bomb went off. No one was injured.
Deputy national police chief Pansiri Prapawat Saturday ordered police in the South to be on extra alert following the string of blasts in Narathiwat and Yala provinces.
He ordered tightened security at government offices, temples, schools and venues vulnerable to insurgent attacks.
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- Writer: Post Reporters