Police in Yala, one of Thailand’s 3 southern border provinces, are investigating after diffusing a bomb they found in a stolen delivery truck behind a police station. They say the truck was stolen by holding the driver, Baihakee Longluwa, of Kerry Express, at gunpoint. The armed men allegedly pushed Baihakee inside of a house, tied up his hands, and left with the truck.
According to Chiang Rai Times, Baihakee was able to free himself and called the police who then were dispatched to intercept the stolen vehicle. Police found the truck parked behind the Raman police station in Muang Yala. But, the story doesn’t stop there.
Police say bomb disposal officers were called to examine the truck after finding home-made bombs stuffed into 2 cooking gas cylinders under the driver’s seat. They found another bomb stuffed into a bottle of mosquito repellant in a rubbish bin nearby the truck. The bomb squad says they successfully destroyed the bombs.
CCTV caught a black motorcycle arriving to pick up a man who had driven the truck to the police station. Another incident last Saturday occurred in which a group of people burned car tires on 2 different roads and stole 5 CCTV cameras, 3 4G devices and 2 Wi-Fi devices in the Than To and Muang districts of Yala. Police say they found a spray painting at 1 location and a suspicious object that has not yet been identified.
The recent incidents are only a small part of the ongoing South Thailand insurgency, which is a conflict centered on southern Thailand’s disputed border region with Malaysia. Although there’s been bubbling discontent around the region since the start of the 20th century, it emerged as a serious issue for the Malaysian and Thai governments in 1948 as an ethnic and religious separatist insurgency in the historical Malay Patani region.
It has become a more complex ‘land grab’, and increasingly violent since the early 2000s due to drug cartels, oil smuggling networks, and occasionally even pirates. The area has been coined the ‘deep south’ or the ‘restive south’ and has become, statistically, a more bloody conflict than the situation on the Gaza Peninsula in the Middle East.
SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times