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Rebel group prime suspect in attack on Narathiwat family

THAI AUTHORITIES believe a group led by Afandi Kapa from the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) separatist movement was involved in Monday's shooting that killed three brothers in Narathiwat's Bacho district.

Captain Boonkerd Mullakan, a deputy chief of the Chulabhorn Marine camp in Narathiwat's Muang district, said the children's father Jehmu Maman, a former insurgency sympathiser, had been arrested before and he had given some useful testimony, which had led to the arrests of many suspected insurgents in the area. Jehmu was also injured in the attack.

Boonkerd said this was probably the reason that the insurgents attacked the family, and then framed state officials as having carried out the attack.

The attack could also be an attempt to threaten sympathisers who cooperated with Thai authorities.

He said Afandi's group, operating in Bacho and Pattani's Sai Buri and Mai Kaen districts, was suspected of carrying out this attack because Afandi and five others were reportedly spotted in the nearby Mai Kaen district earlier.

The authorities are now gathering evidence to secure arrest warrants for them, he added.

Meanwhile, Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command Area 4, yesterday said there were "pre-meditated" attempts by sympathisers to spread a rumour that state officers, the police and the Army, had carried out the attack on this family.

The Army Region 4 chief has instructed the Narathiwat Task Force 32 to closely follow this case, while police were gathering evidence.

"We'd like to confirm that this attack wasn't done by state officials; the black-clad assailants were dressed in clothing similar to those worn by state officials.

The Army Region 4 chief is concerned and has instructed officers to find out and unveil the truth as soon as possible.

The Narathiwat Special Task Force 32 and Bacho district chief on Tuesday explained the scenario to seek the understanding of the affected family members," he added.




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