Chalerm lines up Najib meet

Malaysia's help sought for insurgent, drug fight

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung says he hopes to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to discuss the violence in Thailand's deep South.

Mr Chalerm said he expects to be allowed to make a courtesy visit to the Malaysian leader during his trip to the country, which starts tomorrow and concludes on Thursday.

He said he will seek Kuala Lumpur's help in dealing with suspects who go into hiding in Malaysia after launching insurgent attacks in the far South.

The tactic has made it difficult for Thai authorities to bring suspects to justice, Mr Chalerm said.

"The southern problem can never be resolved if Thailand acts alone. Good cooperation from neighbouring countries is crucial," he said yesterday.

Mr Chalerm said he would also seek cooperation from Malaysia in the fight to curb drug trafficking.

The deputy PM is looking to build on Thailand's past success in launching anti-drug trafficking operations with China by forging a partnership with Malaysia as part of the government's crackdown on narcotics.

Mr Chalerm is due to meet Islamic spiritual leader Chularatchamontri Aziz Phitakkumpon today to discuss the situation in the South. He will meet the Malaysian ambassador to Thailand later in the day.

Meanwhile, a woman was killed and another seriously wounded in separate gun attacks in Narathiwat province on Saturday night, police said.

The first attack occurred about 6.20pm in Si Sakhon district when the pillion rider of a motorcycle opened fire with an AK47 rifle at the defence volunteer base kitchen at Moo 1 village in tambon Sako. It is believed the attackers were aiming to kill a group of volunteers standing nearby.

The shots missed the volunteers but hit Anchalee Laochan, 23, the wife of a defence volunteer, killing her instantly. She was cooking with several other women at the time.

In a separate attack in front of a garment factory at Ban Yalaebo in tambon Rueso, Nipataya Awae, 19, was shot and seriously wounded in the back while driving home on a motorcycle. She was shot by the pillion rider of another motorcycle which followed her from a market in Rueso district.

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Writer: Nattaya Chetchotiros
Position: Reporter