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New attacks in far South claim two

RANGERS TARGETED IN PATTANI BOMB ATTACK; ASSAILANTS AIM AT FACTORY IN NARATHIWAT; MAN SHOT DEAD IN YALA

UNKNOWN ATTACKERS hurled firebombs and riddled a small drinking-water factory with bullets in Narathiwat's Rangae district late on Monday night. Nobody was injured.

Security agencies believe the incident could be related to the ongoing unrest in the deep South. The factory is located inside the compound with owner Prasert Srisompoch's home.

"I have no conflict with anybody," Prasert told police.

Investigators found eight bottles with traces of petrol and more than 30 spent bullet shells, some of which came from M16 machine guns.

The attack created a small fire that workers rushed out to extinguish.

Violent incidents have been taking place in Thailand's deep South on an almost daily basis for about a decade now.

Meanwhile in Pattani, another border province in the South, a motorcycle bomb went off yesterday afternoon killing a paramilitary ranger and injuring three others.

The bomb attack occurred on a rural road in Mae Lan district.

Police said rangers from Company 22 were on a vehicle patrolling the area when a home-made bomb hidden in a motorcycle parked on the roadside exploded.

Rangers Kowit Jitbut, 29, Krik Chaikamain, 38, as well as Captain Sompran Ponlarp, 52, and Corporal Sonthaya Kerdbut, 28, were injured in the blast.

They were taken to Mae Lan hospital, where Kowit was later pronounced dead.

This fatal explosion took place just hours after another bomb went off in Narathiwat's Tak Bai district. The attack seriously injured two soldiers: 2nd Chief Petty Officer Wanchat Promraksa and Private Jenwit Kerdphra. They were targeted shortly after they escorted teachers to school.

Investigation suggests that bombs made with up to 8 kilograms of explosive material was used in the attack, which has also been linked to the ongoing unrest.

Meanwhile, a fatal shooting was reported in Yala on Monday night, but a local political conflict emerged as the most likely motive. Harong Kudu, the younger brother of a village head, was allegedly killed for expressing support for local politician.

Harong, 42, was reportedly heading home on a motorcycle in Muang district when three gunmen opened fire at him at around 9.35pm.


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