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Four small bombs go off in the far South

DEVICES MAY HAVE BEEN SET BY WOOD SMUGGLERS: POLICE

FOUR BOMBS went off yesterday at three locations in Ra-ngae district in Narathiwat, without causing casualties but damaging some property.

Security officials theorised that the bomb attacks might not be the work of insurgents, but influential financiers who fund illegal logging and smuggling the wood out of the country. A joint raid was conducted on a storage site in the jungle near Mohtae hill on Saturday. The wood is said to belong to a person with influence at a local administrative body in the district.

The bombs were homemade and contained in large metal cans then detonated using timers. Two were planted at the back of Tanyongmas train station, and the explosions there caused a one-hour delay to rail services.

A senior State Railway of Thailand official, Thanongsak Phongprasert, said the incident had not affected train services throughout the three southern provinces including Yala and Pattani. The blast did not also wound any SRT official or train passengers, he said.

The two explosions took place near the railway station. The first was detonated shortly before noon, while a third bomb was hidden behind a power pole near a bank, and the fourth near a clock tower not far from the rail station. The third and fourth went off in order not long after the first two.

Meanwhile, well-known academic on national security, Panitan Wattanayagorn, said that insurgent violence traditionally surges during or after change in political leadership at the national level or military leadership at local levels, but it was still too premature to forecast the post-Ramadan "tendency" of insurgent activity.

The Thai military seized power in late May and made organisational changes to the Fourth Region Command, which resulted in greater unity and shorter

chain of command, giving more roles and better tools to soldiers.

He commented that the Fouth Region Command should seize the opportunity to reduce the violence and improve the situation.

The security lecturer said |dialogue would still be the best |solution to the insurgency, but new policies may be different to those |discussed at previous meetings because of the new military leadership, and these would need to be given to new representatives of insurgent groups.


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