POLICE INVESTIGATORS who met to discuss the murder of three people including a two-year-old girl in Bannang Sata district in Yala were initially convinced that the gun attack on Sunday may stem from a personal conflict, Fourth Army Region Commander Lt-Gen
The attack took the number of child casualties in the deep South to eight deaths and eight injuries – in nine attacks between January 1 and April 20.
Walit visited Bannang Sata yesterday and joined the meeting to determine if the attack stemmed from a personal conflict or was planned by insurgents.
Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha had instructed Walit to visit Yala and also instructed all related agencies to beef up security and prevent any reoccurrence.
The meeting was told the attack may have stemmed from a conflict between two groups, which security agencies had some information on, and that there was a need to get neutral people such as religious leaders to resolve the groups’ conflict.
Two of the victims – Doromae and Aisoh Daraseh – were the parents of Abdulakim and Abdulakam, security volunteers who had survived a bomb attack in the same district.
The slain girl was identified as Nuraman, two, while her brother Sulaiman, 12, was injured but survived. The children were Abdulakim’s niece and nephew.
Yala police chief Pol Maj-General Songkiat Watakul said investigators has been ordered to urgently solve the gruesome attack.
A source revealed that Abdulakim, his brother Abdulakam and a friend escaped a bomb attack on February 16 with slight injuries. The source said the name of Abdulakim had appeared in leaflets distributed by insurgents in many Yala districts.
Meanwhile, a 65-year-old villager Sama-ae Yeewae-ngoh was gunned down yesterday morning in tambon Bannang Sata while going on an errand.
The violent attacks have scared many youths in the region.
A 16-year-old schoolboy in Pattani’s Yaring district said he and many kids feared attacks whenever they were outside or when they travel to and from school. If they travelled near army trucks, they feared being killed or injured in an attack on soldiers, he said.
“Now, we live in fear. Before the attacks wouldn’t hurt children, but now the attacks could hurt anyone,” he said.