Suspected insurgent leader Abdullah Pula was arrested in a rubber plantation in Yala's Than To district yesterday morning, while a roadside bomb went off in Ma Yor in Pattani later yesterday, killing two rangers on patrol and wounding three others.
After the 6am arrest, which followed a tip-off by some villagers, the 34-year-old Abdullah was brought to the local police station for forensic officials to collect DNA samples. During the initial interrogation, Abdullah denied all the charges against him.
Abdullah is reportedly a bomb-making expert for the insurgency movement in Yala and wanted on five national security warrants in Than To. These were a June 2006 warrant for the murder of Thawatchai Sakulcharoenwong; a June 2009 warrant for the murder of Hama Mamahdaeha; a May 2005 warrant for the shooting of Wiroj Kaewthavorn; a June 2008 warrant for the shooting of Muhammadrisawan Yunu; and a June 2008 warrant for the shooting of Thanee Hanpirom.
At 2.30pm in Ma Yor in Pattani, a home-made bomb was triggered on a rural road in Ban Khaekthao in Tambon Koh Chan while a team of patrolling rangers passed by, resulting in two deaths and three injuries.
Meanwhile, National Security Council chief Lt-General Paradorn Pattanathabutr attended a seminar yesterday on peace building in the region at Yala Rajabhat University. He said he wanted to inform the public about the dialogue on Thursday with 15 key insurgents of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (National Revolutionary Front or BRN) and the Pattani United Liberation Organisation in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
He urged community members to participate – to say what they want to the separatists through him, as participation was most important in solving this problem.
In regard to the separatists’ desire for justice for fellow insurgents wanted by Thai authorities, Paradorn said the justice process involved various parties so the details had to be studied and sorted out, and problems solved step-by-step.
As the government calls for a cooling down of violence, they were told by the separatists who attended the talks there was a channel to communicate to insurgents who are currently active. He said the violence was continuing because there were groups that agreed while others disagreed with the dialogue, so those who agreed to talk would create understanding among various factions.
In related news, Their Majesties the King and Queen graciously granted gift bags delivered yesterday to eight soldiers injured by a bomb on Friday and a gunfight with insurgents in Rusoh in Narathiwat. Their pickup, heading to inspect a suspected bomb in Tambon Sawor, was hit by a roadside bomb after a shooting ambush by insurgents. The soldiers’ leader, Captain Siwat Sripujyo was killed.
The commander of the 15th Infantry Division, Wiwat Pathompak, presented the gift bags to the injured soldiers at Narathiwat Rajanakarin Hospital at 2.30pm, while provincial Governor Apinan Seuthanuwong also presented them some assistance money and a gift basket.