by Somchai Samart & Supitcha Rattana
A car bomb explosion in Songkhla’s Thepa district yesterday has shocked locals after insurgents are suspected of killing a 62 year old school teacher and stealing his pickup to be used in the the attack.
Security officials collecting evidence at the scene of the explosion checked the totally destroyed vehicle and found that it belonged to a retired teacher. The teacher was identified as Amata Samotantawee.
When officials visited his house no one answered the door. So they broke in to find Amata in the toilet, hanged from his neck. He was blindfolded, gagged and his hands were tied.
At this stage police believe the attackers killed Amata, stole his pickup and packed it with explosives.
Amata’s relatives told police that they had talked to him the previous night, leading police to conclude that the murder happened sometime early Tuesday.
Yesterday’s blast on a road in Tambon Tamuang wounded two police officers: Pol Colonel Sineenart Kongput, who suffered injuries to the chest and Pol Lieutenant Somnuk Kaewmun, who had a cut that required 10 stitches.
Security and bomb squad officials rushed to the scene and found Amata’s Isuzu pickup in a mangled mess from the impact of the explosion. Evidence at the scene led officials to believe that the attackers hid the explosives inside the car and triggered them with a timer.
Pol Maj-General Pairoj Thamtam, a Songkhla commander, said his unit was tipped off about possible attacks in the area. He believed that the target of yesterday’s attack was a Songkhla task force, as the attack spot was on a road that was close to the officials’ accommodation.
In a similar instance, Southern militants in 2017 murdered a merchant from Yala province after luring him with a promise of business before stealing his pickup and using it to bomb a Big C department store. In August 2016, insurgents killed a mother and her young daughter to lay hands on their motorcycle and use it to launch an attack in October.
At this stage Pairoj has identified the militants behind the explosion as allied with Bukorie Lumsoh, who has been active in the area.
“Now the officers are putting pressure on his father in order to reach him,” he said.
Meanwhile, Colonel Pramote Prom-in, the spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4, says the attackers had placed improvised explosive devices in two 15 kilogram cylinders together with cut iron bars that would act as shrapnel.
The vehicle was believed to have been placed at the site before sunrise, according to investigators.
Another bomb exploded on Monday morning. Read about that incident in Pattani HERE.
SOURCE: The Nation
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