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Rangers injured in Narathiwat attacks

Police suspect twin bombs were in response to arrest of two men over railway bombing

FIVE PARAMILITARY rangers were slightly injured yesterday in a bomb attack in Narathiwat's Rangae district while they were guarding the site of a previous bomb blast that had slightly wounded three defence volunteers.

The rangers were guarding the site of the first blast on Tanyongmas-Dusongyor Road in tambon Banga Sato when the second bomb was detonated about 50m away.

Team leader Lance Corporal Kriangkrai Wongjan, 30, and four volunteer rangers were injured while they guarded the site pending the arrival of the bomb squad and investigators.

Police suspect the double bombing was the insurgents' response to the detention of two suspects in relation to last week's bombing of a railway bridge near Tanyongmas train station.

In another violence incident, a bomb attack on a teacher-protection unit in the Si Sakhon district of this restive province seriously wounded a soldier yesterday.

A 25kg home-made bomb, hidden near a bridge in Ban Panae Moo Four in tambon Si Sakhon, was detonated at 8.40am while the teacher-protection team was passing by, resulting in the injury to team leader Corporal Somsak Yuklai, 30.

On Sunday night, insurgents launched an M79 grenade on a military outpost in tambon Nam Dam in Pattani's Thung Yang Dang district.

Two soldiers - Private Panudech Chadakan, 22, and Private Natthapong Aksornsawat, 23 - were seriously wounded while Private Gifree Jamnongrit was slightly wounded.

Meanwhile, anti-government banners were found early yesterday morning at four locations in Songkhla's Thepha district, prompting Songkhla deputy police chief Colonel Surachet Hakpan to order a security beef-up in the four districts bordering the three southernmost provinces.

Three banners, which bore Bahasa Malaysia writing and called for the unrest to continue, were found in tambon Pak Bang, and another was found in tambon Koh Saba.

Security officials later removed the banners and inspected closed-circuit television footage to see if the suspects could be identified.

In related news, two schools in tambon Paluru in Narathiwat's Sungai Padi district, whose buildings were burned down on May 11 - five days ahead of the new semester - resumed classes yesterday.

But while Ban Khok Ta School resumed classes as usual, Islam Bamrung School is using tents as temporary classroom and students have to bring their food from home because the kitchen was burned down.

"What did I ever do to you? You burned down my school to prevent children from getting an education," a six-grader said as she looked at the burned building.

Acting school director Chalong Sumethawiwat said Narathiwat's Primary Educational Office Region 2 had already provided desks and chairs to the two schools and senior students were helping teachers clean and prepare temporary classrooms.

Primary Educational Office Region 2 director Thawat Sae-am said his office had proposed a budget to build three three-storey buildings as replacements for the destroyed facilities at the school.




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