Peace talks will continue says NSC chief
No proof of mole in Yala deputy governor attack
- Published: 8/04/2013 at 11:28 PM
- Online news:
Peace talks with southern insurgents will go ahead despite the recent wave of rebel attacks, the National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general says.
Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut, head of the National Security Council, acknowledged that violence in the South is increasing, but says it is vital to engage the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) in peace talks. (Post Today photo)
No review of intelligence gathering operations is planned either.
NSC chief Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut was responding Monday to claims that some state officials may have acted as "moles", leaking information to southern separatists.
Previously, investigators suspected some state officials may have provided insurgents with information about the travel schedule of the late Yala deputy governor and his assistant governor, who were killed in a bomb attack on Friday in Yala's Bannang Sata district.
Lt Gen Paradorn said proof was still needed to back the claim before any conclusions can be reached. There is no evidence so far, he said.
He said there was no need to review current intelligence-gathering operations in the far South.
However, authorities must work more carefully because insurgents are now turning on high-ranking officials, he said.
Lt Gen Paradorn said the second round of peace talks scheduled for April 29 between the NSC-led delegation and representatives of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) insurgency movement will proceed as planned.
- Ex-security chief disagrees: Talks are too public
At this stage, the talks are aimed primarily at creating mutual trust and gauging the BRN's stance, he said.
Meanwhile, the house of Najmuddin Uma, one of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung's advisers on the deep South, was hit by two grenades about 2am Monday in Narathiwat's Rangae district.
The grenades, fired from an M-79 launcher, exploded and blew large holes in the roof and the ceiling. The windscreen of a car parked nearby was damaged by debris.
Mr Najmuddin, a member of the Wadah group, told police that loud explosions in front of the house woke him.
The Wadah group comprises influential Muslim politicians from several political parties. It once dominated seats in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Nine members of the group, including Mr Najmuddin, have been appointed as Mr Chalerm's advisers on the deep South.
Investigators said two men on a motorcycle fired the two grenades at Mr Najmuddin's house and then fled.
It is the second attack on Mr Najmuddin's house in just over a year.
Police blamed separatist insurgents opposed to the peace talks between the NSC and the BRN.
Two bombs were found outside Yala Technical College Monday morning.
A team of police and a bomb disposal unit were sent to the area about 5.30am and found two home-made bombs, weighing about 2kg each, inside a metal box.
Bomb disposal experts defused the explosives. They had been set to go off at 7pm on Sunday but did not detonate because of faulty circuitry, police said.
Police said a cleaner found the metal box while sweeping the street outside Yala Technical College, and called police.
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva Monday voiced concern about the surge in southern violence.
He said Ms Yingluck must have a clear direction to solve the southern conflict and the government's policy on the southern problem must be reviewed.
The prime minister should now take over Mr Chalerm's task of handling the southern unrest as he has never visited the troubled region, Mr Abhisit said.
Meanwhile, authorities Monday arrested a man suspected of being involved in the four bomb attacks that hit Yala municipality on Sunday evening, leaving two residents injured.
Soldiers with the Yala Taskforce 11 apprehended Hasan Musodee, 24, during a raid on a house in tambon Yupo in Yala's Muang district.
The man was taken to the taskforce's headquarters for questioning under martial law. He denied any involvement.
The attacks took place about 7pm on Sunday evening at four locations: the Cola Hotel on Khotchaseni Road, Seven Inn apartment on Phuttha Phoom Road, the Grand Palace Hotel on Chareon Chai Road and Thep Viman Hotel on Sri Bamrung Road.
The attacks took place not long after Ms Yingluck visited Yala Hospital to give moral support to security officers injured while performing their duty.
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