Officials warn of car bomb threats
Three insurgents surrender, 27 more may come inSecurity officials yesterday advised residents in the South to be on the lookout for five vehicles that may be used in car-bomb attacks.
The vehicles are a silver Isuzu D-Max pickup, a black Mitsubishi Triton pickup, a green Isuzu Dragon Eye pickup, a dark purple Toyota Yaris and an older model burgundy Toyota Corolla. The five vehicles have already been fitted with explosives and are ready for use after assembly work was completed on Monday at various locations in Pattani's Yarang district, security sources said.
A previous warning suggested that a Proton sedan was also on the watchlist, as well as perhaps another Isuzu pickup, which would make for a total of seven possible car bombs.
An intelligence source said five insurgent leaders who survived last week's raid of a marine base in Narathiwat, in which 16 insurgents were killed, were now hiding in neighbouring provinces and preparing for retaliatory large-scale attacks in the near future.
Also yesterday in Narathiwat, three insurgents turned themselves and said that another 27 men currently based in Malaysia might surrender soon. The three men appeared at a press conference in Tak Bai district. There are no details whether their surrender had something to do with, or will directly benefit from, a new government policy granting leniency under a plea-bargaining scheme and the Internal Security Act's Article 21.
Speaking with the media, Tak Bai native Rosali Masa, 31, said his surrender was voluntary and long thought. He said he was tired of hiding and running. For the past five years he had been based mostly in Malaysia.
"I am happy to be home again. Living in hiding is living in hell. There is no place like home, where there is freedom and liberty," he said.
Rosali said he regretted what he had done, but when he saw his chance to surrender and come home, he took it. "I believe in justice and am very happy to be with my family again."
The 27 other insurgents in Malaysia did not yet fully trust the authorities, Rosali said. "Through my coordination and convincing, I believe they will surrender."
Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat yesterday visited a security outpost in Bacho district where the 16 insurgents were killed in the attack on the marine base last week. He praised the success of the intelligence that led to the marines repelling the attack by more than 50 insurgents. He later visited the barracks of Army paramilitary rangers in Pattani.
Speaking in Bangkok before his flight to the South, Sukampol repeated that he he had no problem with Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung appointing nine former MPs belonging to the Wadah faction as his advisers on the situation in the South. Asked about some of them "having questionable history with the insurgency", Sukampol said Chalerm should have been aware of that.
"A media trip to the South is possible next month, and so is a mobile Cabinet meeting in November," he added.