Militants 'aimed to take prisoners'
- Published: 13/02/2013 at 01:26 PM
- Online news:
Insurgents who attacked a marine base in Narathiwat early Wednesday might have been hoping to take prisoners because many were carrying rope and wire with them, Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said.
ACM Sukumpol was full of praise for the marines for their combat readiness in repelling the attackers and being able to kill a confirmed 16 of them and seize 19 weapons and two pickup trucks.
"It is noticeable that some of the attackers carried a rope and some wire, which might have been intended for use in capturing some marines and holding them hostage," the defence minister said.
He said the attackers were in camouflaged uniforms and equipped with weapons seized from police, soldiers and volunteers. He believed the bullet-proof vests worn by many of them had been stolen from defence volunteers.
ACM Sukumpol said he had sympathy for the families of those killed and felt sorry for the young men who had been misled into joining the separatist movement.
He called on them to defect to the authorities, to join in the development of the Thai nation and provide useful information.
Asked whether diplomats from Muslim countries would be invited to a briefing on what happened, ACM Sukumpol said he believed the Foreign Ministry knew what to do next.
All agencies involved in solving the problems in the deep South were well-coordinated, he added.
Asked if the curfew imposed in six tambons in Narathiwat and Pattani provinces until 6am tomorrow would be extended to other troubled areas, ACM Sukumpol said the matter would be decided at a meeting of the Centre for Implementation of Policies and Strategies for Solving Problems in the far South, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, on Friday.
He said since the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had some influence over Thai Muslim people it should have a bigger role in solving the problem, not just making comments.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam