NARATHIWAT: An army ranger was killed and seven policemen and two civilians injured by bomb blasts in a rubber plantation in Sungai Padi district on Monday, police said.
The first explosion occurred about 6.30am about 500 metres from Khok Kai village in tambon To Deng. A local woman, rubber tapper Pathum Nakthong, was seriously injured.
Police, rangers and an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team were sent to the plantation. About 7.40am, while they were clearing the area, another bomb exploded, about 200 metres from the first.
M/Sgt Somchai Daeng-ngoen, of Ranger Company 4818, was killed in the second blast. The second device might have been set to harm those who turned up in response to the first.
Seven policemen were also injured, including Pol Lt Col Wasan Panphot, deputy chief of Sungai Padi police, Pol Capt Sathaban Suwannakan, an EOD officer from Border Patrol Police Company 44, as well as a civilian.
In Bangkok, Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich, Defence Ministry spokesman, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was deeply saddened by the loss of the army ranger and the injuries to the policemen and villagers.
Gen Prayut ordered officials at the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Forward Command to visit the scene and bring the situation under control as quickly as possible. He said all the injured were taken to a nearby hospital and the family of the dead person will receive state assistance.