Bomb kills 1 soldier, injures 3 in Thai Muslim south

Police say insurgents suspected in latest fatal attack to hit troubled region

Bomb kills 1 soldier, injures 3 in Thai Muslim south

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Thai soldier was killed and three others injured when a bomb exploded under their vehicle Wednesday in an insurgency-plagued majority Muslim southern province.

Police captain Apichart Dolae of the Rang-ngae district police station in Narathiwat told Anadolu Agency, “the bomb exploded when the soldiers were passing by near a school in Rang-ngae.”

He said that the blast left a sergeant dead and three soldiers injured.

“We consider this to be the work of insurgents,” he added.

Violent incidents -- including explosions and shootings -- have been occurring on a near daily basis in the southern region, which has been destabilized by a decades-long insurgency.

The low-intensity conflict -- one of the deadliest in the world -- has left more than 6,500 people -- both Muslim and Buddhist -- dead and over 11,000 others injured since it re-emerged in 2004.

On Tuesday evening, two villagers were shot dead and another injured in the neighboring province of Yala, shortly after a group of soldiers were fired at in Takbai district of Narathiwat in an attack that resulted in no casualties.

On Sunday night, a Muslim religious leader was killed in a drive-by shooting in Yaring district of neighboring Pattani province.

The 46-year-old imam, Abdulloh Doe, was riding his motorcycle to a local village mosque when an unidentified man who had been following him shot him in the back several times with a pistol.

An investigating officer at Yaring police station, Sergeant Narawit Ratchayothin, said that he believed “the shooting was due to a personal conflict” and not related to the insurgency.

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 Muslim 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.

Negotiations between an umbrella group representing various insurgent factions -- including some from the BRN -- and the military government -- which seized power in a May 2014 coup -- have been ongoing since 2015, with Malaysia acting as a facilitator.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Haziran 2016, 14:08