Insurgent attacks in 3 provinces, 3 killed

Insurgent attacks in 3 provinces, 3 killed

Security authorities are checking the bombing scene in Bacho district, Narathiwat, Thursday morning. (Photo by Waedao Harai)
Security authorities are checking the bombing scene in Bacho district, Narathiwat, Thursday morning. (Photo by Waedao Harai)

Three people were confirmed killed and others wounded in a series of attacks by insurgents in Pattani, Songkhla and Narathiwat provinces on Wednesday night.

In Pattani province, about 9.35pm, a group of armed men fired shots at a police outpost at Ban Kalapho on Highway 42 near Moo 1 village in tambon Trobon of Sai Buri district.  When police  returned fire the attackers retreated, the Southern Border Provinces Police Operations Centre said.  There were no casualties or damage.

At 10.05pm, three power poles were brought down by exploding bombs along Highway 42 near Ban Bango Mulong in tambon Trobon of Sai Buri district, causing a blackout in the area.

About the same time, militant gunmen attacked the war veterans office at Ban Kampong Tarong in tambon Bang Na of Muang district.   Pvt Thanapol Kaewphet, 23, of the 5th Infantry Battalion, was killed.

In Pattani's Nong Chik district, a 7-Eleven convenience store at a PTT petrol station at Don Yang intersection in tambon Bang Khao of Nong Chik district was set on fire, followed by an explosion, injuring a number of people.  

Other minor incidents were also reported in Pattani. 

In Songkhla province, about 10pm, a bomb went off in front of an ATM machine of the Government Savings Bank on Highway 43 opposite a PTT petrol station in Thepha district.  Two women - Rosalin Manikan, 34, and Kungasaming Loma, 31 - and a man, Ni-irafan Saribu, 25, were injured in the explosion.

About the same time, in Songkhla's Chana district two security guards, identified as Sanya Samankandee and Dolmalek Leeteh, were killed by a bomb explosion, media reports said. The explosion also cause a fire at the Isuzu Motor showroom.  A power transformer was also reported to have been set on fire in Chana district.  

In Narathiwat, car tyres were reportedly set on fire at Koto bridge near Ban Palukasamo in Muang district on the way of the provincial town, disrupting traffic.

Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4 confirmed the deaths of one soldier and the two security guards in a statement that condemned the attack.

The statement confirmed there were at least 12 violent incidents in the three provinces overnight.

Col Yuthanam Phetmuang, the spokesman of Isoc Region 4, said Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich, the 4th Region commander, had extended condolences to the families of the soldier and two innocent civilians who were killed.

Lt Gen Piyawat had ordered all military units to review their measures to protect the lives and property of the people, he said.

Since the attacks were intended to destroy public property acquired with the people's tax money and affect the people's livelihoods, all justice-loving non-governmental organistions should join hands to deny and condemn all forms of violence against innocent people.

Col Pirawat Saengthong, the Isoc spokesman, said Gen Chalermchai Sitthisart, the army chief, had  ordered officials  to take care of the people who were injured and affected by the attacks.

In response to questions, the spokesman thought it was unlikely the attacks were a response to yesterday's visit by the government's 13-member special delegation to the South led by Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr.

"We are checking to see why the insurgents chose to launch the attacks yesterday and whether the day was of any symbolic importance to them," Col Pirawat said.

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