AS THE HOLY month of Ramadan ended yesterday, violence in the deep South continued unabated. In the latest incident, a bomb attack near the Pattani Central Mosque on Sunday night killed a traffic policeman and wounded two other officers and one civilian.
National police chief General Chakthip Chaijinda, who flew to Pattani yesterday, said the culprits – identified as insurgents based in Nong Chik and Yarang districts – had fled to a neighbouring country’s border area. Jakthip said he would propose a collaborative investigation with Malaysian law enforcement when he visited the country next week.
Pol Sgt-Major Anurak Rakbutr was killed while he was directing traffic at the mosque when the bomb went off in front of a nearby commercial building at about 7pm on Sunday.
The three wounded individuals were Pol Lance Corporal Wichakorn Setthakul, Pol Lance Corporal Surasak Parnsung and civilian bystander Ya Morlor.
Colonel Pramote Promin, spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Forward Command, yesterday condemned the attack and offered condolences to Anurak’s family.
He added that attacks during the last 10 days of Ramadan stemmed from a twisted belief that attacks during the holy period would confer religious benefits in the afterlife.
He said the Fourth Army Region chief had instructed agencies to work hard on such cases and improve security measures, especially in economic zones and at-risk communities.
In a case in Yala province, police suspected an insurgent – believed to be a militant from the Amad Leubaesa-led group – may have lured Mahamayuding Puteh and Assuwan Yusoh into a fatal ambush at 1am on Sunday, said Yala police chief Police Maj-General Itthipol Atchariyapradit yesterday.
The two men had fought militants in the area with Pol General Sompien Eksomya, a former Bannang Sata district police chief who was killed in an attack in 2010.
Meanwhile, Tanyongmas railway maintenance inspector Adul Torlaema accompanied by soldiers yesterday assessed the condition of a 100-metre section of railway in Narathiwat’s Ruesoh district blown up in another Sunday bombing.
Repairing the damaged track, located seven kilometres from Balor train station in Yala’s Raman district, would be discussed in a meeting later yesterday with State Railways of Thailand governor Wuttichat Kanlayanamit and railway personnel would be protected by soldiers, Adul said, adding that repairs would take two to three days.
As of yesterday, 14 train services through Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district had been suspended. Commuters were travelling by train to Yala station and then completing their journeys by road transport.