Of those killed, two died during a gunfight with soldiers.
The tragic mosque case involved farmer Dorrorhing Deuramae, 53, who was murdered in Narathiwat’s Si Sakhon district. Police said that before becoming a farmer, Dorrorhing worked for a military-run project in his hometown.
An investigation is underway to determine the motive behind his murder, and police are checking to see if the farmer had any personal conflicts.
Police would also look into |the possibility of him getting killed because he used to work with |security officials.
Narathiwat province is part of the unrest-plagued southernmost region.
According to witnesses, Dorrorhing rode a motorcycle from his home to the mosque to pray, and while he was praying, a gunman walked in and shot him in the head twice.
The killer did not arouse any suspicions initially, because it looked like he had come in to pray. But after the shooting, havoc broke out and the gunman ran out and fled on a waiting motorcycle.
Separately, an explosive ordnance disposal team successfully destroyed a bomb near a water-drainage canal in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district early yesterday.
The team went to the spot after receiving a tip-off from locals and found a suspicious item, which was later identified as a gas cylinder packed with explosives.
The explosives were destroyed without any casualties or property damage.
“We believe ill-intentioned people were planning to plant the bomb at a nearby road, but chose to hide it near the canal first. Fortunately, the locals noticed it before it could be used for attack, Tak Bai Police superintendent Colonel Pacharapol na Nakhon said.
In the neighbouring province of Yala, unknown gunmen opened fire on a pick-up truck behind a mosque.
Driver, Azi Sama, 63, was killed at the scene while the passenger of the vehicle, Hananan Useng, 29, was injured.
The pickup was found riddled with bullet holes.
Police are trying to determine whether the shooting is linked to a personal conflict or unrest in the region.
Also in Yala, a shootout broke out at around noon between soldiers manning a checkpoint and two suspects – Mazupiyan Yakumor and Bukoree Hama.
Soldiers said they had set up a checkpoint on a local road in Raman district after being tipped off that insurgents would stage the attack in the area.
During their operation, a motorcycle refused to stop and two men on it, later identified as Mazupiyan and Bukoree, opened fire at the soldiers. The soldiers fired back and the gun battle ended up with Mazupiyan and Bukoree getting killed.
Mazupiyan was wanted for six crimes, most of them involving murders, while Bukoree was wanted for five crimes, one of them involving terrorism.
Published : November 25, 2016
By : NARONG NUANSAKUL, NAKARIN CHINWORAKOMON THE NATION