Alleged South mastermind killed in shootout
Marohso Jantarawadee, the alleged mastermind behind several attacks in the deep South, was killed in a gunfight with security officials during an attempt to raid a military base early yesterday.If a remark made late last year by a high-level military officer in Narathiwat's Bacho district proves accurate, peace should soon be returning to this southern province.
"Frankly speaking, if Marohso is gone, peace can be guaranteed," a senior officer of the Narathiwat Taskforce 32 said at the time. He considered Marohso as a big threat to peace, because his name alone could be used to intimidate locals. Also, he played an active part in several attacks.
"I once said loudly in a crowded tea shop that I would reward anybody who could help me locate Marohso, and almost all the patrons got up and left very quickly," the military officer said.
Marohso was born on February 16, 1982, in Bacho district, Narathiwat, and according to the village head of the man's hometown, the suspect had disappeared for several years.
At the time of his death, Marohso was wanted in 14 cases including the fatal shooting of a teacher at a school canteen on January 23.
Marohso managed to escape several previous clashes with security officials until yesterday.
A tip-off about the pending attack on a military base in Bacho district gave soldiers time to prepare a response. Marohso showed up early yesterday as expected, and his body was discovered after the gunfight came to an end. He was among 16 armed insurgents killed.