Teachers terrified as another shot in the back in Narathiwat
Attacks on teachers continued yesterday as insurgents shot a teacher in the back just as he was leaving school in Narathiwat's Sungai Padi district.Teerapon Chusongsaeng, 52, was rushed to Sungai Kolok hospital with two gunshot wounds and was in critical condition at press time.
Police said the teacher was heading home on a motorcycle when four men on two motorbikes followed and fired at him. Teerapon is the third teacher to be attacked in the province over the past two weeks. Two other teachers were shot dead before this latest attack.
Also yesterday, Sanguan Intarak, leader of the Federation of Narathiwat Teachers, said teaching staff in the province had decided to hold an urgent meeting today to discuss the mounting unrest and find ways to protect themselves more effectively.
Teachers are concerned about their safety after the principal of an elementary school in Nong Chik district was shot dead on November 22 and another teacher was gunned down on Monday night.
Chatsuda Nilsuwan, 33, was shot dead while heading home on a motorcycle from the Ban Tango elementary school in Joh I Rong district. This school had first been torched in an arson attack in April, which completely destroyed the main building, and since then classes have been held in the storeroom, canteen and makeshift tents.
More than 300 government schools in southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani decided to open their doors yesterday for the first time since the November 22 shooting. However, after a two-hour-long meeting yesterday, security authorities and representatives of teachers decided to keep 17 schools in three tambons in Narathiwat closed tomorrow and on Friday so students and teachers can attend Chatsuda's funeral in her home province of Yala. The 17 schools will open again on Tuesday since next Monday is a public holiday.
Separately, insurgents bombed a CD shop and the home of a police officer in Pattani's Yaring district on Monday night. The attacks left two people injured and four houses damaged.
Police were alerted at 9.45pm that a bomb had exploded at the CD shop and the home of Pol Captain Pong Obma, a deputy police chief of Yaring district.
Police officers discovered the debris of a motorcycle and remains of an explosive in front of the shop. The bomb apparently damaged the CD outlet as well as houses nearby rented by police officers. The explosion also slightly wounded the owner of the shop, Sangvien Tana, 61, and her daughter Hemmawan Kow, 35. Witnesses say that Sangvien was about to close the shop when four men on three motorcycles stopped by and two walked into the shop asking to rent CDs. However, Sangvien told the men, who kept their helmets on, that she was closing up. The two men then continued to make small talk with her while their other two companions positioned an explosive on a shelf before leaving.
Police said another motorcycle fitted with explosives was later parked outside the police captain's home nearby. The bomb inside the shop exploded about three minutes after the men left and the motorcycle bomb outside the police officer's house went off about 10 minutes later.
Please note that Imam Abdullateh Todir is not a member of BRNCoordinate, as stated in the fourth paragraph of yesterday's article "Murders, bombs strike at peace talks". The paragraph should have read as follows:
Leaders of the longstanding separatist movement said Thailand could not talk about peace, while at the same time turning a blind eye to the targeted killing of Abdullateh Todir - an imam of a community mosque in Tambon Patae, a major redzone area in Yala's Yaha district - said a senior member of the Barisan Revolusi NasionalCoordinate (BRNC), an organisation that continues to boycott meetings with Thai authorities.