Bombs explode in Yala, injuring 11

Bombs explode in Yala, injuring 11

At least 11 people were injured in coordinated attacks in Yala municipality on Thursday evening, as insurgents set off 14 bombs in the city. (Photos by Maluding Tido)
At least 11 people were injured in coordinated attacks in Yala municipality on Thursday evening, as insurgents set off 14 bombs in the city. (Photos by Maluding Tido)

YALA - At least 11 people were injured in a spate of bomb attacks that rattled the municipality of this southern province on Thursday night.

Army chief Udomdej Sitabutr told TNN 24 that 11 people were injured by the bombs which were placed in 14 locations in Muang district. They were not seriously hurt, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, a suspect in several high-profile attacks was killed in a gunfight with authorities in Pattani, and two accomplices were arrested.

Gen Udomdej said the Thursday night explosions in Yala were caused by pipe bombs planted by militants to send a message that they were capable of continuing the insurgency in the far South.

The army chief called for calm from the public and urged people to stay at home as security authorities were putting the situation under control.

A woman injured by a bomb is sent to Yala General Hospital. (Photo by Maluding Tido)

"Please don't panic. People should stay at home if necessary so that they will not confuse authorities on duty as they control the situation," he said.

''We have not imposed a curfew in Yala," he added.

Gen Udomdej said authorities had been ordered to stay alert in other southern border provinces for security reasons in the wake of the Yala bombing.

Earlier reports said three people were injured by nine bombs.

Authorities said the bombs on Thursday night were the same as the bombs in Yaha district in Yala on May 4. Three pipe bombs exploded in Yaha on that day but there were no injuries.

The dead suspect in Pattani was identified as Niyiduerae Jaehae, 28. Two other suspected militants, Asi Daong, 28, and Muso Maereewa, 45, were arrested.

Niyiduerae was shot dead in the gunfight with authorities after they raided a house in Mayo district of Pattani. Mr Asi and Mr Muso were also hiding in Mr Muso's house.

The clash left Pol Capt Wichet Hewkoontot, Lt Nopporn Marawichai and Amnuay Chuwong, a volunteer ranger, injured due to gunshot wounds.

They were rushed to Yala Regional Hospital and are in stable condition.

Police had been tipped off that two members of an insurgent group led by Abdulhadee Dahaleng, wanted on several criminal warrants, were hiding in the house.

The joint raid was conducted by the Border Patrol Police Company 44, the Special Task Force of Rangers Unit 43 and Mayo police.

During the search, the suspects opened fire on authorities, injuring the three officers. Authorities fired back, killing Niyiduerae on the spot.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Asi and Mr Muso surrendered to police. A 9mm pistol was confiscated as evidence.

Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman for the Region 4 Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), said Niyiduerae was an operation leader behind several attacks in the province, including the killing of four soldiers in Mayo district in 2012 and arson attacks on six schools in Mayo and Thung Yang Daeng districts last year.

Meanwhile, Mr Arsi faces two arrest warrants for his alleged involvement in attacks led by Niyiduerae, notably a robbery of a Kasikornbank branch in Mayo district in 2013.

Authorities will also question Mr Muso as he allegedly provided the suspects' hideout.

Meanwhile, in Yala, Daree Arboo, 32, was shot dead by gunmen in Bannang Sata district Thursday.

According to police, Daree was gunned down while walking in his neighbourhood. He was found lying dead on the ground with four bullets in his torso.

In another case on Thursday, the Appeal Court upheld a lower court decision to acquit Mahamasakree Mahama-useng of alleged involvement in the Mujahideen Islam Pattani separatist movement in the Deep South, due to a lack of witnesses.

The court said public prosecutors provided only oral evidence based on accounts of police detectives and interrogators and the defendant's stepfather, who testified two years after the alleged criminal wrongdoing took place.

Mr Mahamasakree was arrested in September 2012 for illegally possessing and carrying firearms and participating in the separatist movement in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces from June to August 2002.

The Criminal Court had previously acquitted Mr Mahamasakree but extended his detention pending an appeal.

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