Journalist becomes the sixth victim of Sungai Kolok blasts

national September 25, 2011 00:00

By Narong Nuansakul,
Pares Lohas

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The death toll in the series of three bomb attacks that rocked Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district on September 16 has risen to six after a journalist succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Meanwhile, soldiers yesterday interrogated two suspects in a separate bomb attack on Friday at a school in the same province.

Newspaper reporter Pamorn Pornpanich, 61, who suffered severe burns in the Sungai Kolok attacks, died of his injuries yesterday in the intensive-care unit of Yala Hospital.

His body was taken to Wat Khok Khien in Narathiwat's Muang district for funeral rites.

Soldiers based in Rangae district interrogated the two suspects, who are residents of Rangae's tambon Chalerm. They were arrested as they drove past Prachabamrung School after the blast.

Both suspects denied involvement, but authorities said suspicions were aroused by discrepancies in their accounts.

Authorities believe those responsible for the blast were on the grounds of the school at the time of the explosion, which occurred just as a sergeant who was guarding the school walked by the area where the bomb was hidden. The bomb was most likely triggered - or ordered to be triggered - by someone watching the movements of soldiers stationed on the school compound, they said.

Therefore, authorities planned to interrogate teachers and other employees of the school.

Authorities also planned to investigate any possible connection between the two suspects and insurgents blamed for the bombings in Sungai Kolok.

In related news, two assailants injured a man in a drive-by shooting yesterday in Rangae.

Kudeng Rayeekae, 33, was shot with a 9mm pistol as he rode a motorcycle to work on a rubber plantation.

He was rushed to Rangae Hospital with wounds to his left arm and shoulder.

Meanwhile, royally granted soil has been provided for the burial of Police Senior Sgt-Major Arong Malaya of Kotabaru police station in Yala, who was shot dead by insurgents at a mosque in the province's Muang district in the middle of this month.

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