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Car-bomb insurgent identified

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Car-bomb insurgent identified
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Police said yesterday they have identified two out of the five or six militants behind the huge car-bomb in Narathiwat on Friday, even though information from 22 eyewitnesses was sketchy and of little use for investigators.

Deputy police chief Gen Jakthip Chaijinda said police would be in a position to seek court-issued arrest warrants for the suspects in a few weeks.

The forensics team had collected evidence from the scene and linked that with some intelligence to get a big picture of the attack, leading to a group of five or six suspects, he said.

Gen Jakthip did not reveal any clear information about the suspects but a police officer in Narathiwat said the suspects were operatives under Abdullah Urae’s unit, which stole the pickup truck from Songkhla that was used to make the car bomb.

The vehicle was the same one mobilized in an attack on the Makud Tambon Administration Office in Pattani’s Khok Pho district recently before it was turned into a car bomb.

Abdullah was already wanted in connection with the earlier attack, said the police source, adding that Gen Jakthip gave clear instructions in a meeting with senior police in Narathiwat yesterday to exert all efforts into arresting Abdullah.

However, an interrogation officer at the Narathiwat provincial police office said police had questioned 22 eyewitnesses, who were also victims of the bombing, but obtained no significant information for the case.

All had not paid attention to when the car loaded with explosives was brought into the area, said the officer, Pol Lt Sunet Thien-udom.

Such information could not lead to the arrest of anybody, he said.

The car bomb damaged dozens of homes and wounded 13 people, four of them seriously. As of yesterday, 10 were still in the hospital and Sergeant Korakot Korthong remained in intensive care.

The bomb was hidden in a pickup parked in front of a karaoke bar, not far from a Chinese shrine. The blast was detonated early in the afternoon. With an estimated 50kg of explosive it did major damage in the downtown area of the town in the far South.

The provincial rehabilitation center has said it will compensate the karaoke bar and all victims. Officials in Narathiwat estimate that some 15 million baht is needed to cover the property damage. The rehabilitation center has paid out 1.7mn baht to 30 people already, an official at the center said.

Police yesterday warned of another possible car bomb attack in the southern commercial hub of Hat Yai in Songkhla. Officials beefed up security in the district by setting up checkpoints at 38 places in the town.

Predominantly Muslim Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and some districts in Songkhla have been steeped in violence since early 2004. Thai authorities have been struggling to contain insurgent-orchestrated violence in the decade since then. More than 6,300 people, mostly local Muslims, have been killed.

The military, which leads the campaign to maintain peace and order, stepped up security but sometime they confuse locals.

Last June, the Fourth Army Area asked people in the deep South not to wear helmets while driving their motorbikes in the cities – so that security officials can see their faces.

Yesterday, many motorists in Narathiwat complained that the measure exposed them to risk of road accidents. Traffic discipline cannot be enforced strictly in the deep South, as officials suspect anyone who covers his face.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monks gather for a special ceremony in Pattaya to pray Covid-19 away

Tanutam Thawan

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Hands placed together in the “wai” position and seated in chairs placed a safe “social distance” apart, monks in Pattaya gathered together at a local temple for a special ceremony to pray Covid-19 away.

The Wat Chai by the Pattaya Walking Street was given special permission to hold the event where dozens of monks from other temples in the area came together to pray. To prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the ritual, monks wore face masks, practised social distancing, used hand sanitiser and had their body temperature checked.

The monks chanted several mantras and performed rituals that they believe will help slow the spread of Covid-19 in Chon Buri and help the local economy recover.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

 

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Bangkok

Protest leader tests positive for Covid-19 a week after being released from jail

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul

A pro-democracy movement leader has tested positive for Covid-19 after she spent 8 weeks in jail awaiting a trial on lese majeste charges which prohibit statements that insult or defame the Thai Monarchy. 2 other protest leaders facing similar charges have tested positive for Covid-19 while in court detention.

After being released from the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on May 6, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul spent most of her time at home. She went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing venue on May 10. She went by the Bangkok Remand Prison the next day for the release of 2 other protest leaders, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Chai-amorn Kaewwiboonpan. Rung has now been admitted to the Thammasat University Hospital in Pathum Thani for treatment.

Rung says had been denied an earlier Covid-19 test because she did not have some of the symptoms of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister)

The daily Covid-19 death toll hit a record high today with 34 deaths reported. 1,983 new Covid-19 infections were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 88,907 Covid-19 infections and 486 coronavirus-related deaths.

There are now 29,378 active Covid-19 cases in Thailand. Active cases peaked at just over 30,000 infections last week and have been on a very slight downward slope. The number of patients with severe symptoms has slightly increased to 1,200 with 401 of them on ventilators.

Around 75% of the new Covid-19 infections are in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. While the infection rate remains high in the capital, several provinces have reported no Covid-19 infections and many provinces report under 10 infections.

Most of the new Covid-related fatalities reported today are patients with underlying conditions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. 12 of the 34 patients who died had contracted Covid-19 from family members, a trend in the deaths of patients. The elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at the highest risk of a severe Covid-19 infection.

A CCSA spokesperson notes that migrant workers are entitled to treatment under social welfare programs regardless of their legal status in Thailand.

“Legal or not, they will be treated. Legal status is not an issue at all. The priority is to get them treated and recovered as soon as possible.”

To combat the spread of Covid-19 in Bangkok, the CCSA is expediting the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in high-risk areas like Bangkok’s Khlong Toey slum. Since the nationwide vaccination campaign was launched in late February, 1.89 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. Only 530,000 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Provinces with the highest number of new Covid-19 cases…

Province New cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 976 21,405
Nonthaburi 266 4,035
Samut Prakan 110 3,420
Chon Buri 57 3,489
Surat Thani 53 1,256
Ayutthaya 38 743
Samut Sakhon 36 1,627
Chanthaburi 32 562
Pathum Thani 29 1,477
Pattani 28 240
Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Daily Covid-related deaths in Thailand as of 11 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 11 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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