SECURITY AGENCIES believe a new operation-level leader of the BRN separatist movement may have engineered co-ordinated sabotage attacks that rocked Thailand’s deep South on Sunday night.
The explosions damaged properties but caused no casualties.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official yesterday identified Hubaideelah Rormeulee as a new leader of operations in Yala province by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (BRN).
“He has now overseen BRN activities in Kabang, Bannang Sata, Yaha and Yarang districts of Yala,” he said. “Replacing [his predecessor] Isma-ae Rayalhong, he must have wanted to prove the capabilities of his 500 newly trained subordinates.”
Yala was shaken by 10 bomb blasts just after 7.15pm on Sunday. One damaged an ATM while five others targeted electricity poles. Another hit the residency compound of Bannang Sata Police Station, while one bomb exploded in front of the Bannang Sata Lands Office.
Two other bombs were detonated around the same time, one in the parking zone of a house just behind a special-taskforce base and the other just behind the Tambon Ban Haen Administrative Organisation.
At 1.30am yesterday, police found and defused a bomb at an electricity pole in Yala’s Muang district.
The latest phase of conflict in the deep South has raged for more than a decade and claimed thousands of lives.
Yala was not the only province targeted on Sunday.
Neighbouring Narathiwat province also saw several explosions. One of the blasts damaged an ATM of the Islamic Bank of Thailand and two vehicles while another rocked an ATM of the Government Savings Bank.
Meanwhile unknown gunmen opened fire on a temporary military base in Narathiwat’s Bacho district. No injuries were reported.
Narathiwat deputy police chief Pol Colonel Suthon Sukwises said bombs used in Sunday’s attacks were the same type as those thrown away by two young men at a police checkpoint on Saturday evening.
The pair escaped after throwing a bag containing four pipe-bombs into a roadside ditch before they reached a checkpoint in Narathiwat’s Sungai Padi district.
A woman whose home was damaged by one of Sunday’s blasts said it was not the first time her house had been hit during the unrest.
“It’s the ninth time,” she said, “And because there has never been serious damage, we have never received any remedial action.”
She urged authorities to pay attention to victims and to stop instigators of the violence causing trouble.