More security cameras torched, as teachers seek transfers
Unknown attackers destroyed 15 security cameras and stole seven others in Pattani early yesterday. They were the latest simultaneous attacks on the authorities' closed-circuit television system in the deep South since early this year.Police were examining available evidence late yesterday to check fingerprints in a bid to identify culprits.
"Attackers put car tyres that had been set ablaze and hung them over electricity cables near where the security cameras had been installed," Pattani police chief Maj General Ekapop Prasitwattanachai said.
The cameras that were burnt were in Pattani's Mayo, Panare and Thung Yang Daeng districts, he said.
And the seven cameras that were stolen were from the front of the Tambon Taloh Mae Na Administrative Organisation in Thung Yang Daeng.
An explosion also erupted on Chonnabot Road in Thung Yang Daeng at around 9am yesterday. It caused no casualties. Police suspect insurgents might have plotted to harm security officials when they planted the bomb there, as the spot was close to where a security camera was set alight. But, it took officials a long time to check the camera on fire, and the explosion occurred before they arrived.
"Police had to check many other spots where security cameras were also attacked," Thung Yang Daeng Police Station's superintendent Colonel Kowit Rattanachote said.
Unrest in the deep South has raged unabated for eight years. And teachers have been high among the casualties. The latest teacher to be killed was Chonlatee Charoenchon, who was shot at Ban Tanyong School's canteen in Narathiwat last Wednesday.
"We have already interrogated 15 witnesses in this case. Of them, one can remember the gunman well. We will develop a sketch and gather further evidence to seek an arrest warrant," Bacho Police superintendent Pol Colonel Pakdee Preechachon said yesterday.
Following Chonlatee's death, seven of 14 teachers in Narathiwat's Educational Service Area 1 Office asked for a transfer. The office, however, has asked them to stay until the end of the semester.
Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said security officials would use stricter measures in protecting teachers in the deep South. "The latest attack on teachers took place while security officials attended prayer sessions. From now on, security officials will take turns praying," he said.
He added that kamnans, village heads and councillors on tambon administrative organisations had now established a network of communications in a bid to help track perpetuators of violence.
"This network has now had about 8,000 members," he said.