Roadside bomb injures monks and rangers in South Thailand

Photo by Bangkok Post.

A roadside bomb blast in the Rueso district of South Thailand‘s Narathiwat province injured three monks and two volunteer rangers yesterday morning. The explosion took place near an agricultural equipment shop in tambon Rueso Ok at around 6.25am, as a white van carrying the monks from Wat Phairot Pracharam passed by. The monks were in the area to collect alms, Bangkok Post reported.

Rueso police station chief Thanya Lamboon stated that security forces, including Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officers, a special unit of Narathiwat Provincial Police, and forensic experts were dispatched to the scene immediately after the incident was reported. Upon arrival, they found the injured monks and rangers, with one of the rangers, Chaichit Namkhet, sustaining shrapnel wounds to the head.

The injured individuals were taken to Rueso Hospital with the help of Mustaha Yama, the owner of the agricultural equipment shop, and several villagers. Authorities cordoned off the area to allow EOD officers to investigate the explosion site.

Fragments of a powerful improvised explosive device were discovered scattered around the area. The device, which contained approximately 50 kilograms of explosives, had been packed into a cooking gas cylinder and placed near a 1,000-litre water tank. According to the police, the explosion, which had a 100-metre blast radius, was triggered by radio control.

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The blast caused minor damage to the agricultural shop, three nearby houses, and two pickup trucks. Police attribute the explosion to an insurgent group operating in the area.

A source mentioned that the incident bears similarities to a previous explosion in December 2021, when a security unit escorted several monks from Wat Rat Samoson to collect alms. That early morning blast resulted in injuries to one monk, one villager, and two rangers. The recent event has raised concerns among locals that monks and Buddhists may once again be targeted by insurgent groups, said the source.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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