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Officer warns against believing rumours on South unrest

THE INTERNAL Security Operations Command (Isoc) yesterday cited the recent arrest of two paramilitary rangers for the fatal shooting of three boys in Narathiwat's Bacho district on February 3 as a lesson for the public not to trust rumours spread via word of mouth or social media without fact-checking.

Confirming that the attack, which also injured the boys' parents, was motivated by personal revenge, Isoc spokesman Colonel Banphot Poonpien said people should beware of such rumours, which could be spread by insurgents attempting to stir up violence against state officials.

The arrests in this case also demonstrated the state's sincerity in solving unrest and should boost the state's image in the public's eyes because, although the suspects were rangers, state agencies proceeded with the investigation and made arrests without protecting the suspects, the spokesman said.

"It is sad that children are the victims of violence stemming from adults' conflicts. It is sadder that insurgents use it as a reason to launch attacks, including a Pattani drive-by attack that killed six innocent people," he said.

Meanwhile, four gunmen shot dead a former police sub-lieutenant, Arun Phramphu-aim, in front of his home in Narathiwat's Sungai Padi district on Monday night. The assailants also planted two bombs near the scene, which later exploded without causing any injuries. Police found 20 spent bullets at the scene at 8.30am yesterday. A nearby construction shop and a six-wheel truck were damaged by the blasts.

In related news, suspected insurgents on a motorcycle opened fire on a couple riding another motorcycle in Yala's Bannang Sata district yesterday. Angkhana Nudaeng, 22, sustained fatal gunshot wounds to her back, while her husband Apichat Saengchan was slightly injured when the motorcycle turned over. On Monday night, villager Matohe La-te, 40, was gunned down in tambon Patae of Yaha district in the same province.




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