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3 suspected insurgents killed in Pattani

Jack Burton

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3 suspected insurgents killed in Pattani | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Police visit a colleague who was injured in a shootout with suspected insurgents as he receives treatment at a hospital in Pattani - Benar News
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Authorities shot and killed 3 suspected insurgents on Thursday in Pattani province in Thailand’s deep South, long the home of a bloody separatist insurgency. Security forces believe the men were planning to mount an attack during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The shootings are the first act of violence since Malaysia’s Barisan Revolusi Nasional, or National Revolutionary Front rebels declared in early April they were was ceasing “all activities” on humanitarian grounds because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the group warned it would resume operations if Thai government forces attacked its fighters.

Piyapong Wongchan, Pattani’s chief of police, says the raid took place before dusk a village in Nong Chik district, as residents of Thailand’s mainly Muslim Deep South were preparing to break their fast at the end of the seventh day of the holy month.

“Prior to the shootout, we received intelligence that a group of insurgents took a break in the area [before] they planned to exploit Ramadan to launch an attack. This morning informants found suspicious strangers hiding in an unregistered house.”

The raid turned violent as joint security forces surrounded a house in Pakaruesong village.

“As officials were circling the house and calling them out, the perpetrators opened fire.”

Piyapong says the 3 men in the house were killed and one police officer was injured in the shootout. He says arrest warrants had already been posted for all 3 men for their alleged involvement in other crimes.

Investigators say one of the men, Yusof Mometoh, participated in an August 2016 bombing in southern Thailand outside of the Deep South, one of several bombings over two days that killed four and injured more than 30 people. Most of the attacks targetted southern tourist hotspots including Phuket and Hua Hin.

Matamesee Sa-e, the second slain suspect, has been charged with looting a gold shop last year, and the third, Abdul Yasi Pakya, has been charged for his role in the bombing of a Big C superstore in Pattani in 2017. BenarNews could not contact their survivors on Thursday.

An army spokesman say authorities have been put on alert to safeguard the region from possible bombings.

“Though Ramadan is a holy month for doing good deeds, we found perpetrators who were trying to mount attacks.”

More than 7,000 people have died in the Deep South since the insurgency reignited in January 2004. The region encompasses the Malay-speaking provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, as well as four districts in neighboring Songkhla.

In a YouTube posting on Thursday, a BRN spokesman blamed the government for taking advantage of the Covid-19 shutdown across the region to launch the raid.

“The BRN condemns the Thai government for this inhumanity and we hope that all people are looking forward to managing their villages against the outbreaks and the abusive regime.”

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | BenarNews

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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.

Insurgency

Pattani villager shot and killed while walking home

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattani villager shot and killed while walking home | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

A 26 year old villager was shot and killed while walking along a street to his home in Pattani’s Sai Buri district, an area plagued with violence related to the religious separatist insurgency in Thailand’s “deep south.” Police say the man’s body was found lying on the road, but did not give any additional details about the case.

The Thai Cabinet recently extended the State of Emergency order in Pattani along Yala and Narathiwat, provinces that both border Malaysia, for another 3 months. Not to be confused with the Emergency Decree imposed by the prime minister to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the order in the South allows officials to track down and arrest insurgents, according to government deputy spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Insurgency

Southern insurgency State of Emergency order extended another 3 months

Caitlin Ashworth

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Southern insurgency State of Emergency order extended another 3 months | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

With ongoing violence related to the religious separatist insurgency in the South, the State of Emergency in the Southern provinces Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani has been extended by the Cabinet for another 3 months, from December 20 to March 19.

While the ethnic and religious conflict dates back to 1948, the 3 provinces bordering Malaysia have been plagued with violence since the early 2000s with drug cartels, oil smuggling networks and even pirate raids.

In recent months, a number of rangers, police and locals in the South have been killed or injured from ambush shootings and roadside bombs.

The order, not to be confused with the nationwide Emergency Decree imposed by the prime minister to combat Covid-19, allows officials to track down and arrest insurgents, according to government deputy spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek.

Only a few districts are excluded from the emergency order: Srisakhon, Su-Ngai Kolok and Sukirin in Narathiwat as well as Maikaen and Maelan in Pattani and Betong in Yala.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Insurgency

Narathiwat villager shot and killed, suspected insurgent camp found nearby

Caitlin Ashworth

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Narathiwat villager shot and killed, suspected insurgent camp found nearby | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

After a villager was shot and killed while he was hunting wild pigs, a military and police task force searched the area in the Southern province Narathiwat’s Si Sakhon district and found a deserted camp on Bilo mountain that they suspect was used by insurgents.

55 year old Sophon Thasuk went up to the mountain to go hunting with a group of friends. They separated, but after a series of gunshots were heard, the friends gathered at their agreed meeting spot. When Sophon didn’t return, the men reported the incident to Ranger Task Force 49.

After 3 hours of searching, rangers found Sophon’s body. He had multiple gunshot wounds. Rangers suspect the villager was killed by insurgents.

A couple days later, a search was led by a combined police and military unit. Officers found an empty campsite with 13 tents. They also found 3 spent AK47 rifle cartridges and a pipe bomb, a type of improvised explosive device known as an IED, along with several survival kits.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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