Six more nabbed for South raid

Six more nabbed for South raid

200-strong team carries out village raids

Six more suspects have been arrested in connection with Tuesday night's brutal attack on a security checkpoint in Yala's Muang district which left 15 civilian defence volunteers dead and five others injured, as authorities made a sweep through remote villages to hunt gunmen.

The arrests came after a combined force of 200 military rangers and policemen carried out a series of raids at 13 locations in Yala and Pattani's Khok Pho district bordering Yala's Muang district.

The raids were a follow-up operation following the questioning of two suspects who were earlier detained after the attack, a security source said yesterday.

According to authorities, the six suspects face arrest warrants under the Criminal Code or Emergency Decree. Authorities also found bloodied gauze and some backpacks during the raids. The suspects have been moved to Wat Lam Mai in Yala's Muang district for further questioning.

Fourth Army Region commander Lt Gen Phonsak Poonsawat has instructed security forces to hunt down the perpetrators involved as authorities have obtained clues about other attackers who were wounded during the gunfight with the defence volunteers and were still on the run, the source said. Security forces are prepared to launch further raids and expect to arrest more suspects, the source said.

Another security source said the attackers were controlled by Hubaidila Romueli, who leads an insurgent network in Yaha and Kabang districts, and Amat Tuenga, who heads another rebel group in Muang district. The attack was believed to be in retaliation for the extrajudicial killings of two insurgent suspects in Pattani's Sai Buri district last week, said the source.

Another source said the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) was responsible for recent major attacks in the deep South, which succeeded because security officials have been in denial about a BRN presence in their areas but were now forced to confront the reality.

Meanwhile, the Future Forward Party (FFP) urged the public to keep a close watch on whether the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) imposes a curfew in the deep South. Imposing the curfew could spark criticism of human rights violations, the party said.

An announcement in the Royal Gazette, released on Friday, allows the director of the Isoc -- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha -- to consider a curfew in eight districts of four southernmost provinces, which if approved would take effect on Dec 1.

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