Death toll of Thursday attacks is 21 : army spokesman
The army suffered a great loss after suspected insurgents bombed and killed 11 army rangers in Yala on Thursday night, Army spokesman Akara Tiprote said on Friday.
The type of attack in Yala, Bannang Sata district was similar to that taken place in Narathiwat three weeks ago that took lives of seven soldiers.
"Again this is a great loss of the army. The insurgents adopted similar tactics to that they used in Narathiwat. They bombed and killed the injured soldiers to make sure that no one survived," the spokesman said.
Eleven soldiers were killed on Thursday night when a powerful roadside bomb exploded in Bannang Sata district shortly before 10pm.
The remote-controlled bomb was set off as Army rangers were travelling past in a pickup truck along a back road linking Yala and Betong. They were returning to their camp from crowd-control duty at a protest by local residents. A ranger is still in critical condition.
Akara said that army investigation into the attack showed that the insurgents killed the injured soldiers by either shooting at point blank range or strangling them to make sure that all were dead.
The spokesman also referred to the separate attack in Songkhla's Saba Yoi district on Thursday night when the insurgents sprayed bullets on local villagers shopping in an evening market, killing five.
He said that the culprits behind the attack were believed to be same groups operting in Yala's Yaha district. They created violence in Saba Yoi district to withdraw police and soldiers from Yala.
The death toll of Thursday alone is 21, which is a shocking record, the spokesman said.