Isoc: Insurgent violence up during 'peaceful' Ramadan

Isoc: Insurgent violence up during 'peaceful' Ramadan

Maj Gen Chinawat Mandej (centre), deputy commander of the 4th Army, visits the scene of Sunday's car bomb explosion on a road next to Ban Sungai Kolok school on Monday morning. (Photo by Waedao Harai)
Maj Gen Chinawat Mandej (centre), deputy commander of the 4th Army, visits the scene of Sunday's car bomb explosion on a road next to Ban Sungai Kolok school on Monday morning. (Photo by Waedao Harai)

Southern militants have stepped up their violence during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and stricter security measures will be enforced, particularly in economic areas, the Region 4 International Security Operations Command (Isoc) said on Monday.

Col Pramote Prom-in, the Region 4 Isoc spokesman, issued the warning during a media conference on Monday at Sirindhorn Camp in tambon Khao Tum of Pattani's Yarang district. 

He said during Ramadan observance Muslim people perform peaceful religious activities and adhere strictly to Islamic principles.

However, over the past 10 days, instead of allowing a period of peace, insurgents had stepped up their violence, apparently in the belief they could gain from it, he said.

The car bomb explosion near Ban Sungai Kolok School and an operations base for a platoon of the Narathiwat Task Foce 33 in the Sungai Kolok Municipality on Sunday morning was one example, Col Pramote said.

Two people were slightly wounded by the explosion but there was extensive damage to some public property.

This was followed by a bomb explosion at a bank of ATM machines in Pattani's Yarang district on Sunday night and the murder of a religious leader in Yaring district, and an explosion that wounded a ranger in Panare district on Monday.

"Lt Gen Wiwat Pathomphak, the 4th Army commander, ordered an urgent operation to ascertain the motives for these attacks.

"The Sungai Kolok car bomb, in particular, has been linked to a particular group of insurgents. Evidence is being compiled and they will be targeted for arrest," Col Pramote said.

He said the 4th Army commander had also ordered that security measures be stepped up in areas where  the militants are active, particularly in urban areas of economic importance, to ensure that Muslim people can safely perform their religious activities during this period.

Lt Gen Wiwat also stressed the need for government forces to pay attention to the safety of communities at vulnerable spots, said Col Pramote.

"The 4th Army chief attaches importance to law enforcement, in order to bring these culprits in for legal action," he added.

Ramadan began in Thailand on June 6 and is to end on the evening of July 5.



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