Raid nets double killing suspect

A man suspected of murdering two marines in Narathiwat's Rangae district more than seven years ago was captured in a raid by combined forces yesterday.

The raid was conducted in Rueso district about 6am when Narathiwat 30 Special Task Force commander Sutirapong Art-harn, acting on a tip-off that three suspected militants were hiding in the area, led 100 officers to storm three locations in La Harn village in tambon Samakkee.

Tuwae Useng Dokor, 41, was arrested at a house in the village. He is wanted for detaining and murdering Sub Lt Winai Nakbutr and Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Khamthorn Thong-iad at a childcare centre in Ban Tanyong Limo on Sept 20, 2005.

The house owner, whose name was withheld, was also arrested for aiding the murder suspect.

Mr Tuwae, for whom authorities had issued a 500,000-baht reward for information leading to his capture, allegedly admitted to investigators that he was part of the network that killed the marines, but was not the killer.

Mr Tuwae will be taken to a paramilitary camp in an undisclosed location for further questioning, officers said, adding that two other suspects narrowly escaped during the raid.

Meanwhile, a combined force of marines and police yesterday combed parts of Bacho and Rueso districts of Narathiwat and Mai Kaen district of Pattani for evidence as they continued the hunt for four suspects wanted for the murder of a teacher in Bacho on Wednesday. Chonlathee Charoenchol, 51, was shot dead while supervising his students at lunchtime in the Ban Tanyong School canteen.

The attackers also stole Chonlathee's car. No suspects have been apprehended.

Pol Col Krisda Kaewchandee, the deputy Narathiwat police chief, said insurgents might be planning to use the stolen car to stage further attacks.

Also yesterday, the Confederation of Private Schools in the Southern Border Provinces called on the Education Ministry to extend its 2,500-baht monthly risk allowance to private school teachers in the far South.

Kodaree Binsen, chairman of the confederation, said teachers at private schools in the region are not currently eligible for the allowance.

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 university graduates will soon be sent to work as volunteer teachers at some 900 primary schools in the far South.

Pol Col Thawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, said the graduates were all from the three southernmost provinces and would be able to blend in with the community easily.

The graduates will come from various fields of study including computing and mathematics. They have also undergone education training and will be sent to primary schools hit hard by teacher shortages.

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