Big C bombing: 2 suspects killed in 4 days
published : 14 Jul 2017 at 20:53
writer: Abdullah Benjakat
PATTANI: A second suspect in the Pattani Big C bombing was shot dead on Friday, reportedly after firing at officers while trying to flee, just three days after security forces killed another suspect.
The dead man was identified as Paoyee Tasamoh, a 44-year-old native of Ban Kahong village in tambon Paka Harang of Muang district.
The shooting occurred after officers brought him to a site said to contain weapons belonging to the perpetrators of the May 9 bombing that injured 80 people.
His body was found in a rubber plantation in Ban Juerae Nibong village of Paka Harang. A Smith & Wesson .38 revolver was found close to his right hand.
Paoyee was arrested early Wednesday morning. On Friday soldiers brought him to the suspected weapons cache in Ban Kahong.
Maj Gen Jatuporn Kalampasut, commander of the Pattani ad hoc unit, said Paoyee was arrested for harbouring suspected southern insurgents and later confessed that he had joined the insurgency in 2011. One of those he was said to have helped was Suding Mama, 29, a Big C bombing suspect who was killed during a raid on Tuesday.
Maj Gen Jatuporn said Paoyee had also admitted to keeping a motorcycle used to transport a suspect after the plotters parked a bomb-laden pickup truck at the Big C Supercenter in central Pattani. He also reportedly told authorities that he had buried weapons for the group.
According to Maj Gen Jatuporn, security authorities brought Paoyee to show them the hidden weapons in a forested area Friday morning. While he was digging up the weapons, he grabbed a revolver hidden in the grass nearby and fired one shot at the authorities.
He then ran away, jumped into an irrigation canal and swam across it. As the officers pursued him, Paoyee fired two more shots at them and they fired back. Afterwards he was found dead.
His death came just three days after the shootout in which Suding died. It occurred when five men reportedly opened fire after they were approached by security authorities who had been searching a mosque in tambon Paka Harang where they believed some bombing suspects were hiding.
Authorities believe a total of 15 people were behind the Big C bombing, which injured 80 people. Two cooking gas cylinders had been stuffed with explosives weighing about 100 kilogrammes to make the bomb.
The cylinders were placed on a pickup truck stolen from a vendor from Yala. The vendor was murdered on the day of the bombing.
- Big C Pattani bombing