Muslim Leaders in Southern Thailand Condemn Brutal Murders

By BenarNews Staff
150414-TH-funerealrites-620 Muslim leaders and government officials attend a religious service for four slain residents of Narathiwat’s Sukirin district, April 14, 2015.

Muslim leaders and government officials in Thailand’s Deep South on Tuesday attended religious rites for four Buddhists who were murdered at a house in Narathiwat province on Sunday night.

In Yaha district in neighboring Yala province, more than a thousand people held a prayer for peace.

Investigators have concluded that a key insurgent leader, Sarahan Hama, was behind the murders of the four Buddhists, Lt. Gen. Prakarn Cholayuth, who heads the 4th Army’s regional command in the Deep South, told reporters Tuesday.

“We think the culprits were led by Sarahan Hama, who operates in the adjoining areas of Sukirin and Janae districts. We received a useful tip off and believe we can arrest them soon,” Lt. Gen. Prakarn said Tuesday.

The four victims, who were reportedly tied up and executed, were among eight civilians killed by gunmen across the Deep South since Sunday morning.

Since 2004, at least 6,000 people have died in a separatist insurgency in the region, which consists of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala provinces, and some districts in Songkhla province.

The attack Sunday night in Narathiwat’s Sukirin district took place in a house occupied by government workers involved in a state-run project to compensate victims of violence in the region. The victims have been identified as Aree Rattana, Somnuek Rattana, Joon E-ern and Dam E-ern.

Among those paying respects to the four was Waedueramae Mamingji, chairman of the Islamic Committee for the Deep South.

A day earlier, Mamingji, who also chairs the Islamic committee in neighboring Pattani province, had issued a statement condemning the killings of the four-non Muslims.

He reiterated that condemnation on Tuesday.

“It is brutal, inhumane. To cause the others to die and to also destroy the bodies is a sheer shame,” Waedueramae told the victims’ families.

“All must jointly condemn the use of violence against our brothers in the south. All should share significant information and jointly help develop the community for peace, because we are brothers,” he said.


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