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Ranger hurt in Pattani; bomb suspects held in Yala

A paramilitary ranger was seriously wounded in a roadside bomb attack yesterday in Pattani's Yarang district, while suspected insurgents also destroyed CCTV security cameras in Yala's Raman district.

The Pattani explosion on a Ban Ton Makham-Lubohyirai road reportedly was aimed at a teacher protection patrol team. Corporal Preecha Suwanmongkol sustained bomb shrapnel wounds in his torso and legs and was taken to Yala Hospital.

Meanwhile, suspected insurgents burned three CCTV cameras, car tyres and a cable line in the Tambon Kotabaru municipality area at around 4am, said Police Lieutenant Winit Pakdiwanich of Kotabaru.

Authorities also discovered suspicious black plastic bags on a road island, along with petrol bottles and tyres. Bomb squad and forensic police were dispatched to inspect them at 7.30am. Suspected insurgents also sprinkled road spikes on a curve of Kotabaru-Raman road. The situation prompted Yala police chief Maj-General Songkiat Wathakul to intensify police activities in the area to prevent further violence.

In related news, a 120-strong combined security team arrested five suspects aged 22-39 allegedly involved in the May 14 railway bombing in Narathiwat's Rangae district. Following a tip-off that suspected insurgents were lying low in the area, the team carried out a pre-dawn raid at three locations in Tambon Kalisa and arrested the five men. They also recovered 50 items including a shotgun, 11 cell phones, two computer tablets, five field beds, camouflage clothing, and medical supplies.

The five suspects denied any involvement in the bombing. They were taken to the 45th Ranger Regiment for DNA samples, fingerprint checks and interrogation.

Meanwhile, police seized a pickup truck that was allegedly used as a getaway vehicle for those involved in the two bombings in Songkhla's Hat Yai district on May 6.

Pol Maj-General Suchat Theerasawat from the Southern Border Provinces Police Operations Centre inspected the Toyota Tiger D4D truck at the Ban Kuan Mued permanent checkpoint in Chana district. The truck owner, aged 33, was summoned for questioning on his possible involvement but he claimed to have only let others use his truck on the day.

Suchat said police had identified four suspected bombers from CCTV footage.


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