Policeman dies in Pattani bridge blast

Policeman dies in Pattani bridge blast

A police officer was killed and another seriously wounded in a bomb blast in Pattani’s Mayo district yesterday morning.

Pol Col Kong-ath Suwankham, the district police chief, said the attack occurred about 9.45am as six policemen on a pickup truck and a motorcycle were travelling over a bridge on Yarang-Mayo Road in tambon Kochan.

A home-made bomb, weighing about 15kg, was planted at one end of the bridge and was detonated remotely.

The explosion hit Pol Cpl Atithep Sangthong, 32, and Pol L/Cpl Rusdi Chedolo, 27, who were riding the motorcycle.

The two were seriously wounded in the blast. Pol Cpl Atithep died later at Mayo Hospital, while Pol L/Cpl Rusdi was transferred to Pattani Hospital.

It followed a separate attack in Yaring district on Monday, in which Nuradin Maseela, 25, and his three-year-old son Sufiyan were shot dead at their home in tambon Ratapanyang.

They were attacked by assailants who fired shots at Narudin shortly after he parked his motorcycle. The bullets also hit his son. The victims had just returned from a concert at a local school.

Nuradin died at the scene, while his son was seriously wounded. The boy was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, police believe the killing of a former special branch police officer in Yala’s Yaha district on Monday was the work of the same gunmen who earlier shot dead a military ranger and three rubber latex buyers in the past two months.

Pol Snr Sgt Maj Ekapong Sakdayuth, 65, was shot dead and his body set on fire at a petrol station he owned in Yaha district.

He was shot by two men travelling on a motorcycle who pretended to ask for fuel.

After the shooting, the killers poured petrol over him and set him on fire.

Pol Col Arkhom Buathong, Yala police chief, said two male suspects had been held for questioning under martial law.

He said police investigators believe the killing of the former officer might have been carried out by the same gunmen responsible for the killing of ranger Mapaesor Arwae in Kabang district of Yala on Jan 2. The same shooters are also believed responsible for a gun attack in the same district on Feb 22 in which three latex buyers were killed and another seriously wounded.

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