Eight Die in Two-Day Spate of Violence in Thailand’s Deep South

By BenarNews Staff
150413-TH-narathiwat-620 The body of a female shooting victim lies in a house in Thailand’s Narathiwat province, April 12, 2015.

The killings of eight civilians in a series of attacks by suspected insurgents in Thailand’s Deep South since Sunday marred the opening of Thai New Year festivities.

The deadly spate began before dawn on Sunday in Pattani province. A village headman, identified as Masuekri Dueraning, was fatally shot as he drove to work in Mayor district.

But the victim, who was armed, returned fire, killing two assailants before succumbing to his wounds at a local hospital, police said.

On Sunday night, in neighboring Narathiwat province, four people were bound and shot dead during an execution-style attack in Sukirin district.

The victims died in a house occupied by government staffers involved in compensating victims of Deep South violence, a local policeman told BenarNews.

Since 2004, at least 6,000 people have died in a separatist insurgency in Thailand’s far southern region, which comprises Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala provinces, as well as some districts in Songkhla province.

“The perpetrators used rope to tie their hands before shooting into each of their head and burnt their house down,” Pol. Lt. Capt.Weerachai Pannu said.

And on Monday, three more residents of the Deep South were reported killed in two shootings.

A man and woman, who worked at a rubber plantation, were shot dead in a roadside ambush in Yala’s Yaha district as they rode to work on their motorcycle, the Bangkok Post reported. In Narathiwat’s Rueso district, a local doctor was fatally shot by a gunman riding pillion on a motorbike.

According to the Post, police cited intelligence reports warning that insurgents from the predominantly Muslim Deep South would target Buddhists during the Songkran holiday.

Thailand is observing New Year festivities from April 13 through April 15.

On Friday night, a car-bombing on the southern tourist resort of Koh Samui injured seven people. According to local police, the pick-up truck that was rigged with a bomb had been stolen from Yala province.

Muslim leader denounces killings of Buddhists

All four victims of the execution-style attack in Narathiwat on Sunday night were Buddhists, and, on Monday, a local Islamic group condemned the killings.

“I am sorry for what happened and would like to reiterate that those who practice violence are on the opposite side of Islam. Islam teaches Muslims to refrain from using violence or from causing hardship to others,” said Waedueramae Mamingji, chairman of the Pattani Islamic Committee.

At least two of the eight people killed in attacks since Sunday were women. The Bangkok-based Justice for Peace Foundation issued a statement condemning violence against women, the elderly and innocents in the Deep South.

Such acts were inhumane and defied religious teachings, the group said.

“Since January 2014 to date, 57 women were killed and, in almost all the incidents, the officials failed to bring the perpetrators to justice. The impunity is one of the reasons why the citizens lost confidence in the judicial system, which is particularly important in times of conflict and transition,” said Angkhana Neelapaijt, a representative of the foundation.


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