BRN appoints 'anti-peace' chief

BRN appoints 'anti-peace' chief

The Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) has appointed a new leader in a move believed to reflect the group's unwillingness to be part of peace talks with the Thai government, according to a source with the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4.

The change came after Dulloh Waemanor, the previous leader, was encouraged by Malaysian authorities to attend new rounds of peace talks facilitated by the Malaysian government, said the source.

Mr Dulloh has been replaced by Kho Zari, 60, the secretary-general of the BRN, said the source.

The current flare-up in violence in the deep South happened under the leadership of the BRN's new president, a former Islamic teacher from Pattani's Sai Buri district who has moved to live in the northern part of Kelantan.

These fresh attacks were intended to demonstrate the BRN's leading role in the southern insurgency, added the source.

In related news, the chief of Na Pradu police station in Pattani's Khok Pho district and some other senior police officers at the station have been abruptly transferred following Sunday's major daytime attack.

In an order signed by the chief of the Provincial Police Region 9, Pol Col Amphai Chumchuay, the chief of the attacked station, was transferred on Monday to Yala's police operation centre, said Pol Maj Gen Piyawat Chalermsri, chief of Pattani's police.

The investigation launched into Sunday's attack, which left a police sergeant dead, found there were six attackers on three motorcycles, all using AK-47 rifles and concealing their faces.

Gunmen on the first motorcycle attacked the police station's front security booth, killing Pol Sgt Chaloemphonl Khomkham, while those on the second and third motorcycles sprayed the police station building with bullets.

The attackers on the first motorcycle also snatched an M4 rifle, a pistol and a bulletproof vest from the murdered officer.

Following this incident, local police have been told maintain a constant state of readiness around the clock as this case shows that fresh attacks may happen at any time, not only at night as in the past.

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