Former ponoh school executives cleared of harbouring insurgents

Former ponoh school executives cleared of harbouring insurgents

The Narathiwat court has acquitted three former executives of an Islamic ponoh school of charges of allowing insurgents to assemble bombs on the school's grounds.

Teachers’ sweet treat

Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, director of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC), fourth from right, joins teachers at Islam Burapa School in Narathiwat to make arsuro, a local sweetmeat. The SBPAC chief yesterday led his delegation to visit the school to give moral support to its staff. Three school executives were recently cleared of charges of allowing insurgents to use the school as a site to make bombs. WAEDAOHARAI

The provincial court delivered its ruling on Tuesday, throwing out the charges against former school registrar Useng Purong, former manager Sorma Hama, and former headmaster Subaida Dorlor.

The charges were brought against the three executives following a joint forces raid at Islam Burapa School, locally known as "ponoh saphom", in tambon Kaluworneu in Muang district of Narathiwat on July 2, 2007.

Seven people were arrested in the raid for alleged involvement in a number of bombings and for instigating violence in the troubled region. One of the seven suspects was accused of carrying out 17 bomb and arson attacks.

Materials used for bomb-making and other weapons were seized from the seven suspects, prompting authorities to shut down the school and indict the three executives.

Security forces believed that the school was being used as a location to assemble bombs that were being used in attacks throughout the deep South.

The school was shut down on July 5, 2007, but was allowed to reopen on Feb 1, this year.

Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, director of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC), yesterday led a team of officials on a visit to the school in a show of support for its staff and students.

Meanwhile in Yala, business owners whose shops were damaged by a recent motorcycle bomb attack are demanding speedy compensation.

One person was killed and 33 others injured in the blast on Siriros Road in Muang district of Yala on Saturday.

Several shophouses were also destroyed in the explosion, which caused an estimated 100 million baht in damage.

Pornsak Leelakriangsak, owner of Chaicharoen shop which sells motorcycle spare parts, said he wanted authorities to speed up the financial remedy process for businesses hit by the blast.

Many motorcycle parts in his shop had been damaged in the attack, he said, and at least 40 million baht of inventory had been lost.

In Narathiwat, a roadside food stall fell victim to a suspected arson attack in Sungai Kolok district yesterday.

The kitchen of the food stall was broken into and set on fire about 2.30am, police said.

In Pattani, the director of a school in Nong Chik district was shot and seriously wounded by two men who followed her on a motorcycle yesterday afternoon.

Nanthana Kaewchan, director of Ban Tha Kam Sam School, was travelling in her car when one of two men on the motorcycle opened fire with an M16 automatic rifle.

Ms Nanthana was seriously wounded in the attack, and was admitted to Nong Chik Hospital.

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