Four bomb attacks on bank ATMs and an M79 grenade attack on a Ranger base in Bannang Sata district in Yala on Friday night left two people injured. It also prompted a security beef-up in the three southern border provinces.
Bannang Sata superintendent Pol Colonel Charoen Thammakhan said police checked the four banks’ security cameras and one of them – at a Government Savings Bank branch – captured a group of four or five youths on motorcycles in front of the bank minutes before the blast. An inspection of the scene turned up SIM cards apparently used to detonate the device, Charoen said.
It was suspected that the five attacks were carried out by a group led by Mukta Alimama, who is believed to have replaced Ma-ae Apibalbae as the region’s leading insurgent. The latter died during a gunfight with officials in Yala’s Than Tho district last year.
Ahead of the Islamic fasting month, Pattani’s Muang district municipality has beefed up security and implemented strict checks on suspicious vehicles. The move follows an intelligence report that a group of five or six suspected insurgents recently held a meeting in Nong Chik district’s Tambon Tuyong and another in Muang district’s Tambon Pakaharang to discuss attacks using guns and bombs.