Two soldiers were severely injured when Muslim insurgents detonated a home-made bomb hidden inside a motorcycle to ambush a patrol unit in Pattani on Monday morning.
The explosion occurred at 9am on the Johkueyae - Sai Buri Road in Johkueyae village, Tambon Tabing, Sai Buri district.
Pvt Mayaki Yusoh, 25, and Pvt Thirapong Assaro, 22, from Pattani Taskforce 26 were severely injured, with bomb shrapnel becoming embedded in their faces and bodies. They were rushed to the district hospital.
Police said insurgents used a wireless remote control to detonate the bomb as eight soldiers on four motorcycles rode past the spot as part of their routine protection for teachers on the road. The rest of the unit escaped without injury.
Police said the insurgents hid the bomb under the saddle of the motorcycle, which did not have a license plate. The motorcycle was stolen from a police sergeant and his son, who were killed by insurgents in Sai Buri district on January 17, police said.
Meanwhile, in Yarang district, an unknown number of insurgents set fire to the office of the Rawaeng subdistrict Tambon Administration Organisation, completely destroying it.
On Sunday, security officials stepped up security measures in restive Narathiwat following a tip-off of a new possible assault by the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) within the next few days. Violence over the period March 1-10 has killed 13 people and injured 28 others,
Officials tightened security in all 13 districts by setting up checkpoints to inspect vehicles passing through main and local roads around the clock.
Regarding the attacks on two military outposts in Bacho district on the night of March 8, which left 12 soldiers wounded, Pol Maj Gen Choti Chavarnwiwat, commander of Narathiwat provincial police, on Sunday called a meeting with Bacho police investigators.
The initial investigation has revealed that the assailants attacking military outposts are a new group of young people recruited from four districts of Narathiwat by Maroso Chantharavadee, a suspected RKK leader.
About 50 well-armed men divided into three groups attacked the two military outposts with M-79 grenade launchers and gunfire. The third group felled trees to block the roads and cut down three electric poles to cut power at the targeted locations.