INSURGENTS KILLED an Army ranger and a monk while wounding two people in a gun attack in Sai Buri district in Pattani early yesterday. Several hours later, a police officer was killed and four others wounded in a bomb attack in Yala's Than To district.
The ambush in Pattani took place at around 6.40am when a two-man team of paramilitary rangers was escorting a monk in a car. Six assailants on three motorcycles opened fire with automatic weapons at the car, killing the monk, Yan Phromenukool, 75, and Ranger Sakchai Jiamram.
The attack in Pattani also injured a female bystander. A group of security officials was assembled to hunt the attackers, but their pursuit was slowed by spikes scattered on a road on which the attackers fled, by another group of insurgents. Police said M-16 assault rifles were used in the attack and 43 spent cartridges were found at the scene.
A motorcycle was also burned and a fake bomb planted by this road to slow down the pursuit. Police said the ambush and the use of spikes, a fake bomb and burning of the motorcycle was likely the work of insurgents.
Separately, at around 11am in Yala, a team of police attached to the Than To Police Station was returning from a crime scene inspection in a two-vehicle motorcade. One vehicle was blasted by a roadside bomb, which killed Pol Sub-Lieutenant Niyom Suwanmanee instantly, fatally injured Master Sergeant Third Class Somnuek Duangnim and wounded three others, who were all rushed to hospital.
The bomb used about 30-kilogram of explosive in a gas cylinder hidden by the road. It was detonated via an electrical circuit through two-way radio frequencies.
Police suspect that Abdulloh Pula may have been behind this attack. He is a suspect in a security-related trial, who fled after being granted temporary release on bail recently.