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“Nothing to do with the election” – Deputy PM Prawit

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Senior government security officials are claiming the series of bomb blasts last weekend in the southern provinces of Phatthalung and Satun are related to insurgency activities in the predominantly Muslim region. They say there is no connection with the upcoming election and that the timing is just co-incidence.

The South has been racked by violence from an ongoing insurgency since early 2004 in which nearly 7,000 people have died.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan spoke to the steering committee on the deep South before flying to the two provinces for a visit of the bomb sites yesterday.

Though no suspects have been arrested at this stage, Prawit says the committee has concluded that the recent incident was related to the ongoing violence in the region and had nothing to do with politics.

Neither Prawit or security officials have provided any reasons or evidence that led them to their conclusions about the weekend’s attacks.

National Police chief Chakthip Chaijinda and his deputy Srivara Ransibrahmanakul also flew to the two provinces, and came to the same conclusion that the bombings had nothing to do with politics or the upcoming election.

Srivara added there were no early warnings from the intelligence and the police had no clue who was behind the bombings.

Improvised explosive devices, or pipe bombs, either exploded or were found at 11 locations in Phatthalung province. Seven more were found in the neighbouring province of Satun, of which five exploded. The bombs went off on Saturday night and Sunday morning. No one was injured.

Since early 2004, insurgents have orchestrated violence mostly in the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and parts of Songkhla, killing nearly 7,000 people.

Security officials in Satun and Phatthalung fanned out yesterday to collect more evidence from the bombing sites as well as seek more clues and leads about the suspects. Officials have reportedly questioned many people in the area, but have failed to pinpoint any suspects so far.

Security was stepped up in nearby Phuket as a precaution. Memos were sent to provincial and district police to conduct additional checkpoints around the island and patrol popular tourist zones and attractions.

"Nothing to do with the election" - Deputy PM Prawit | News by Thaiger "Nothing to do with the election" - Deputy PM Prawit | News by Thaiger

 

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