Multiple Bomb Blasts Injure 14 in Southern Thailand

By BenarNews Staff

2015-05-14
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150514-TH-yala-620 Medical personnel load injured bombing victims into ambulances in Yala municipality, southern Thailand, May 14, 2015.
BenarNews

Southern insurgents mounted a string of bombings in Yala province on Thursday night to avenge Wednesday’s killing of a comrade by government forces in nearby Pattani province, the Thai military said.

A series of explosions around Yala municipality injured 14 people, and they occurred as Thailand’s military-led government was preparing to open peace talks with southern insurgent groups in Malaysia later this month or in early June.

Six groups have agreed to take part in Malaysia-brokered talks aimed at ending the decades-old separatist insurgency in Thailand’s predominantly Muslim Deep South.

“Tonight’s attacks are the retaliation by the insurgents for last night’s incident,” Lt. Gen. Prakarn Cholayuth, commander of the 4th Army Region, told reporters Thursday, referring to a shootout in Pattani’s Mayor district that led to the arrests of two suspected insurgents and the killing of third one, identified as 28-year-old Nie-duereh Jehae.

That incident came in the wake of the shooting deaths of a security volunteer and a sub-district official elsewhere in Pattani.On Thursday night, as many as 25 crude bombs were placed at 14 spots in the area but not all of them went off, sources said. They were either pipe-bombs or some other type of home-made explosive.

“With regard to the town-wide attacks in Yala [municipality], we found no one killed. The bombs used in attacks are all small ones …. I believe they wanted to stir up unrest,” Yala Gov. Samart Waradisai said.

People injured by the blasts, including an 11-year-old boy, were rushed to a local hospital.

‘High-profile criminal’

Nie-duereh, the suspect gunned down on Wednesday night, commanded a rebel platoon in the area and he had led some big attacks, Colonel Promote Prom-in, spokesman for the forward office of the Internal Security Operations Command 4 (ISOC-4), told a press conference earlier on Thursday.

“He is the chief of an operational squad and led several attacks, including the killing of four soldiers in July 2012,” Colonel Promote said.

Nie-duereh also was involved in cases of arson at six schools in the province last October, Promote added.

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