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Three killed in Pattani bomb blasts

INSURGENTS STRIKE AT 15 DIFFERENT LOCATIONS; 73 INJURED

INSURGENTS launched simultaneous bomb attacks on 15 locations in Pattani late Saturday evening, killing three people and wounding 73.

A Navy patrol boat and five convenience stores were damaged, while power and water utilities were knocked out in Muang district and Muang municipality, which bore the brunt of the attacks.

In Narathiwat, militants planted time bombs by three power poles in Rue Soh district. They went off at about 7.40pm on Saturday, toppling two of them.

The blackout was caused by 25 power poles being blown over by the explosions, Phongsak Sitthipong, a senior Provincial Electricity Authority offi

cial, said yesterday. Other areas in Nong Chik, Yaring, Khok Pho districts were also left in the dark.

Power had been restored in a few areas by morning, following repairs and the retrieval of damaged poles and wires, he said. Electricity was expected to return to 90 per cent of the affected areas by evening.

Residents have begun storing up on food and other necessities, taking showers at the mosque or bathing in the Pattani River after tap water was cut off.

The Navy patrol boat, docked at a Pattani port, sustained minor damage when three M79 rounds were fired but only one hit it. Two naval officers were slightly wounded.

After repairs, the Tor 229 vessel was relocated to Songkhla at the order of the Navy chief, Navy spokesman Rear Admiral Karn Deeubol said.

Of the 22 blast victims receiving treatment, 20 were at Pattani Hospital, where three of them were in intensive care, said Dr Narong Sahamethapat, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry.

A two-year-old baby was undergoing treatment at Yala hospital for shrapnel wounds to its head, legs and arms as well as for cerebral haemorrhage.

The baby is conscious and on breathing ventilators after surgery to remove metal fragments from its brain, he said.

The dead were identified as Somphorn Kahesaksit, 47, Aphisit Mungmaithanarak, 18, and Muhammad Ilfan Shide, 5.

Waraphorn Sirichai, the owner of a wholesale outlet and the five convenience stores, said one bomb was planted at the store but it was defused, while the other one was detonated.

She said she was let down by the attacks, and that she had not been given compensation from authorities for the Bt104 million in damage a warehouse in Yala suffered from a recent bomb attack.




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