Police major killed in Yala bomb blast
Bomb exploded during examination of a crime scene in Yala
The police major killed in a Yala bomb blast has been named Pol Maj Prasan Kongprasit, an inspector at Bannang Sata District Police Station. Prasan succumbed to injuries yesterday sustained when a homemade explosive device went off earlier in the day.
Four others were wounded by shrapnel when the bomb exploded as they examined a crime scene in the southern border province of Yala Friday morning. They were identified as Pol Corporal Suthat Mool-ngoen, Pol Sgt-Major Suwit Thanawong, and Pol Corporal Kraisri Rojnotom. The name of the last victim has not been released.
The officers were inspecting a crime scene in Than To where many backhoes and bulldozers belonging to road construction company Yala Highways had been set on fire in an arson attack the previous night.
When the police paratroopers arrived on the scene, a gunfight broke out with a group of insurgents before the Yala bomb blast wreaked havoc. Reinforcements were requested from the military and the Border Patrol Police as the violence escalated.
According to the Nation, violence intensified in the Muslim-majority Deep South as the separatist struggle entered its 20th-year last month.
In 2022, a total of 29 people were killed, well below the typical body count of four over the past five years. However, the number of injured, 123, was two and half times more than in 2021. Although that represented an increase in casualties, the numbers are a blip compared with a decade ago, when more than 10 times the number of people were killed.
Of the casualties, 38% were members of the security forces. They also made up 68% of those people injured.
The number of attacks involving homemade bombs rose sharply last year. There were 69 improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in 2022, roughly one every five days. In contrast, there were only 19 such attacks in 2021.
In 2022, bomb-squad personnel defused six IEDs. There were also six grenade attacks.
Other violence included 11 arson attacks and eight attacks on cellular and electricity towers. There were some 11 separate attacks on the railways, including a December 3 bombing that derailed 11 of 20 freight cars. That was followed by a Yala bomb blast the next day targeting first responders.
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