Business as usual in deep South
- Published: 6/10/2012 at 05:31 PM
- Online news:
Business returned to normal on Saturday for traders in the southern border provinces one day after most shops closed for fear of threats by separatist militants.
All shops and wet markets in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and four districts of Songkhla province reopened on Saturday as normal life resumed for people in the restive region.
A shopper in Pattani said she had decided not to go out to the fresh market on Friday due to the lack of confidence that security authorities could ensure her safety on the Muslim day of prayer.
Security personnel investigate the wreckage of a police pickup truck damaged after a roadside bomb was detonated in Yala, injuring two officers and the drug suspect they were escorting to court.
On Friday, most shops in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and half of those in Chana, Thepha, Saba Yoi and Na Thawi districts of Songkhla were closed.
A trader in the border town of Sungai Kolok said that Malaysian traders were also afraid of possible insurgent attacks, and did not come to the market as usual on Friday.
Jae-arming Tortayong, a Democrat MP for Narathiwat, on Saturday urged the government to urgently consider measures to restore confidence among residents in the violence-plagued region.
He said it was time to put an end to fear of threats against Friday trading and prevent the intimidation from spreading to other districts in Songkhla.
The government should seriously tackle this problem before it causes more economic damage to the region, he added.
Police in Yala on Friday arrested two men accused of intimidating shop owners.
Abdulrose Yuso, 25, and Hasan Panawa, 22, allegedly threatened to attack a petrol station staff member and a shop owner who had remained open for business. They denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, the daily violence continued on Saturday. The latest casualties were two police and a drug trafficking suspect who were slightly injured by a roadside bomb explosion in Yala's Muang district.
Officers from Patae sub-district were travelling in a pickup truck carrying the suspect to Yala provincial court on a local road in Moo 3 in tambon Yala when the bomb was detonated, according to police.
Pol Lt Thanawat Boonmak, 25, Pol Sgt Paosee Samae, 30, and Asming Alee, 21, a suspect charged with drug trafficking, were slightly wounded. All three were admitted to Yala provincial Hospital.