Bomb attacks injure 2 police officers in Thai south

Attack occurs 2 days after blast in which 4-year-old girl and her father died provoked domestic, international indignation

Bomb attacks injure 2 police officers in Thai south

World Bulletin / News Desk

Bomb attacks in Thailand's south have injured two police officers and a villager two days after the killing of a four-year-old girl and her father provoked domestic and international indignation.

The incidents were the latest in a series of violent incidents in the three majority Muslim southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, which have been plagued for decades by a separatist insurgency.

Colonel Theerapot Yindee of Baan Sorong police station said early Thursday that a remote control bomb had exploded on a road in Yarang district of Pattani province around 7.45 a.m. (0045GMT)

"A pick-up truck was passing carrying six policemen, who were inspecting the road before the arrival of a group of teachers,” he said.

“The truck was badly damaged and two police officers were hit by shrapnel."

He said that another remote controlled bomb targeting a police pick-up truck had exploded almost simultaneously in the neighboring province of Songkhla.

The blast occurred after the vehicle had passed, but injured a villager driving not far behind.

The attacks occurred with the south still in shock following an explosion early Tuesday which killed the four-year old and her father in front of Ban Taba school in the Tak Bai district of Narathiwat province.

A villager injured in the same blast died Wednesday from his wounds.

On Wednesday, the office of the Chularatchamontri -- the leader of the Islamic community in Thailand -- published a statement condemning Tuesday’s attack as “a cruel act against the religious teachings of Islam”.

The current Chularatchamontri, Aziz Phitakkumpon, is the first holder of the position born in the Malay Muslim south.

His office urged the public to “unite and oppose violence against innocent civilians” and called on authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Cross Cultural Foundation, a local human rights groups which has worked extensively in the Thai south, also condemned the attack “against venues protected under the laws of war”.

Since 13 bombs hit tourist areas Aug. 11 and 12 in the country's upper south, the number of violent incidents in the south has been on the rise.

The latest blasts occurred a few days after a round of talks between the military government and Mara Patani, an umbrella organization of rebel groups claiming to represent insurgents, ended inconclusively.

The talks, which took place in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur with the local government acting as a facilitator, could not finalize the Terms of Reference for further negotiations, according to Gen. Ansari Kerdphol, the lead negotiator of the military government delegation.

This meeting came amid concerns from local analysts that Mara Patani does not represent active groups operating on the ground.

The southern insurgency is rooted in a century-old ethno-cultural conflict between Malay Muslims living in the southern region and the Thai central state, where Buddhism is considered the de-facto national religion.

Armed insurgent groups were formed in the 1960s after the then-military dictatorship tried to interfere in Islamic schools, but the insurgency faded in the 1990s.

In 2004, a rejuvenated armed movement -- composed of numerous local cells of fighters loosely grouped around an organization called the National Revolutionary Front or BRN -- emerged.

The confrontation is one of the deadliest low-intensity conflicts on the planet, with over 7,000 persons killed and over 11,000 injured since 2004.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Eylül 2016, 10:55