Violence flares again in deep South with explosion, gunfire

Violence flares again in deep South with explosion, gunfire

Violence in Narathiwat, one of three restive southernmost provinces, has flared again with gunfights and a bomb explosion in a small village in Su-ngai Padi district, officials said yesterday.

The first incident, presumed to be carried out by an insurgent group, erupted at 9.20pm on Friday.

Two men riding a motorcycle attacked a security base at Ban Joh Nam Sai in tambon Paluru, in Su-ngai Padi district.

Two insurgents used M-16 machine guns to attack soldiers and the community's security volunteers.

The attack prompted two minutes of gunfire exchange in which both extremists managed to flee and no injuries were reported, according to Pol Sen Sgt Maj Udornphum Samarnwong, who was engaged in the skirmish.

In the morning, a bomb exploded in the same vicinity at 7am yesterday.

The bomb went off 100 metres away from the shooting scene the night before.

The explosion took place minutes before 48th Ranger Regiment Force chief Col Ekkapol Leknok came to the site to investigate the shooting incident.

Pol Maj Gen Narin Busaman, commander of Narathiwat provincial police, said both incidents had been planned and were related.

"The shooting on Friday was mounted to lead soldiers to investigate the scene the day after, so extremists can then detonate the bomb," he said.

However, no casualties were reported.

In another restive southern province of Pattani, one village security volunteer was killed and two soldiers seriously injured during a drugs crackdown.

The ambush took place as officials launched a crackdown and were ambushed by an insurgent group on Friday night at Ban Rawor in tambon Don in Panare district of Pattani.

An insurgent, Anwar Dueramae, was killed.

He was wanted on four court warrants related to planting bombs and three other cases related to the killing of soldiers and security volunteers in Pattani.

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