NARATHIWAT : Special forces troops yesterday raided an insurgent camp in the Budo mountain range in Narathiwat's Bacho district, seizing ammunition and military-style camping gear.
The soldiers involved in the raid were from the 43rd Paramilitary Ranger Regiment and Special Task Force 32, Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4 Forward Command spokesman Pramote Prom-in said.
He said Isoc's Region 4 had ordered the soldiers to raid the camp after receiving a tip-off that about 20 insurgents were staying there.
Col Pramote said when the soldiers arrived at the camp yesterday, they found it abandoned.
An inspection of the site uncovered 30 bullets, five gas cylinders, 15 hammocks, 15 rubber sheets, one solar cell panel, two batteries, one black T-shirt, two 100-litre water containers, kitchen ware, medicine, military-style outfits, and six pairs of trekking boots.
All of the items were confiscated and will undergo forensic examination, Col Pramote said.
He said forensic teams will try to determine whether the equipment was connected with evidence collected from the sites of violent attacks in the region.
The site of yesterday's raid was the 11th militant camp discovered by authorities in the Budo mountain range since March last year.
Col Pramote thanked local residents for providing information to the authorities and urged others to do the same.
"If anyone _ Buddhist or Muslim _ sees something suspicious taking place in your area, or if they see strangers or anyone suspicious entering your area, please inform the authorities," he said.
Authorities yesterday found about 100 Malaysian flags lying on the Yaring-Cho Airong road in tambon Chuab of Narathiwat's Cho Airong district.
An intelligence source said the flags might have fallen from a vehicle while they were being transported.
The source added that intelligence reports had found that insurgents had brought the Malaysian flags to put them up in the three largely Muslim provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat on Malaysia's national day which falls on Saturday.
Authorities have already been told to step up security that day.
Meanwhile, defence and military attaches from 19 countries yesterday visited Isoc's Region 4 Forward Command at Sirindhorn Camp in Pattani's Yarang district.
"The government wants the foreign military attaches to understand more about southern policies, as the government wants these countries to support its methods in solving the problems," Col Pramote said.
About the author
Writer: Ayub Pathan & Wassayos Ngamkham