Explosive device found hidden inside 7-Eleven in southern Thailand

An explosive device planted by suspected insurgents was discovered hidden on a shelf at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Narathiwat province in southern Thailand on Friday. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officers rushed to the scene and successfully disposed of the bomb.

On Friday, a member of staff at a 7-Eleven store in the Yee Ngor district was restocking shelves when he noticed that a pink bag had been left on a shelf behind a packet of sanitary towels. When he picked it up, several electrical wires came out of the bag, so he swiftly put it back down and rang the police.

A team of EOD officers rushed to the scene and disabled cellphone and radio signals in the area before inspecting the device. The officers attached a rope to the bag and pulled it out onto the floor. They opened the bag to reveal a homemade incendiary device weighing around 0.5 kilograms.

The device’s timer had not been activated, said EOD officers, who then safely and successfully disposed of the bomb. The device could cause an explosion strong enough to start a fire, but probably wouldn’t cause a blast strong enough to kill outright, said EOD officers.

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Police believe the device was planted by the same insurgents who carried out several attacks on 7-Elevens stores, Mini Big-C stores, and petrol stations in Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani provinces on the night of August 16. The attacks claimed the life of a 21 year old man who was killed when a bomb detonated in a 7-Eleven in Sungai Golok district of Narathiwat province.

The Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) – one of the most prominent insurgent groups in Thailand’s Deep South – claimed responsibility for the series of attacks. The group has been carrying out gun and bomb attacks on representatives of the Thai government, e.g., government officials, soldiers, police, monks, teachers, and economic targets, since 2004, seeking independence and governance of Thailand’s Muslim-majority Deep South.

The series of violent attacks comes just weeks after the BRN said they were “considering” the Thai government’s request for a ceasefire in the Deep South for the duration of Buddhist Lent. At peace talks held in Malaysia on August 2, the Thai side proposed a violence-free, 108-day ceasefire between August 15 and November 30, covering the remainder of “Vassa,” or Buddhist Lent, which began on July 15.

The idea was proposed after both the BRN and Thai government successfully observed a 40-day ceasefire during the Islamic holiday of Ramadan earlier this year. However, despite the BRN “considering” the request, the group has since claimed responsibility for the string of arson and bomb attacks in the region.

Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, and parts of Songkhla province – covering the historical ‘Patani’ kingdom – have been plagued by intermittent attacks between government forces and insurgents since violence resurfaced in 2004. The roots of the South Thailand Insurgency go much further back in history.


South Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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