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Yala ramps up security after fatal shooting of volunteer ranger

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Following yesterday’s fatal shooting of a volunteer ranger in Thailand’s southern Yala province, security in the province’s Muang district has been stepped up. Buddhist communities are being warned to exercise “increased caution” and to be careful of strangers, as authorities are bracing for potential attacks by southern insurgents.

The volunteer ranger was identified as 43 year old Nikorn Sombatthong, who was part of the 41st paramilitary battalion. He was reportedly murdered as he arrived in front of a school in Tambon Wang Phaya at about 8:30am, after returning from neighbouring Pattani province.

People entering the district by road are being subjected to searches and identification checks by police and military personnel manning checkpoints on all the roads leading to the township. Intelligence sources say some insurgents have sneaked into the district, possibly to carry out attacks on “soft targets”.

Yala and its neighbouring provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla along the Malaysian border, are home to a decades-old separatist insurgency – which to date has claimed more lives than the Palestinian conflict in the Middle East.

Read more about Thailand’s Southern Insurgency HERE and HERE.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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