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Southern militants escape after gunfight in Narathiwat

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Southern militants escape after gunfight in Narathiwat | The Thaiger

by Santhiti Khorjitmet

Fighting between soldiers and eight armed militants has erupted on a remote mountain range in the southern province of Narathiwat in the Taway mountains.

According to reports, both sides fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition during the confrontation near a suspected insurgents’ base in the Rangae district. Though two suspects were believed to have been injured, all eight managed to escape as they were familiar with the local landscape, according to soldiers.

No soldier was injured in the incident.

Colonel Issara Jantakayom from the 45th Ranger Regiment was leading a 20-strong team to patrol the area as part of measures to step up security in the run-up to |New Year festivities, when his team came across armed men on the Taway mountain range.

The gunmen began firing at the soldiers, prompting Issara’s team to fire back. After 10 minutes of gunfire exchange, the suspected insurgents disappeared from sight. Investigators arrived at the scene later to gather evidence.

There were 10 tents in the area, erected a few metres apart, and more than 100 spent casings of war weapons and pools of blood. The authorities have launched a manhunt for the suspects in the mountain range.

A military source said the suspected gunmen might be working under Abdulloh Bula, who is wanted for eight security-related crimes.

Abdulloh’s hometown is near the spot where on Wednesday’s clash occurred. Unrest has been raging in Thailand’s deep South for more than a decade and thousands of lives have been lost during the period.

Southern militants escape after gunfight in Narathiwat | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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UPDATE: Narathiwat temple murders – Security increased while PM condemns shooting

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UPDATE: Narathiwat temple murders – Security increased while PM condemns shooting | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Slain Abbot Phra Khru Prachote Rattanarak

The national police chief is ordering police regional units in Narathiwat to ramp up security in the province to hunt down the culprits behind last night’s deadly attack at a temple.

Police spokesman Pol Lt General Piya Uthayoh says the motive behind the attack on monks at Rattananuparb Temple in Sungai Padi district is unclear. The Army’s Fourth Army Region is investigating, he said.

A group of about 10 attackers armed with assault rifles opened fire inside the temple, killing Phra Khru Prachote Rattanarak, the abbot and chief monk of the district, as well as another monk.

The national police chief also ordered increased security in the province and other areas to improve safety.

Meanwhile, Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has condemned the latest violence in Narathiwat in which two monks were gunned down and some others injured on Friday night.

The Nation reports that Government spokesman, Puttipong Bunnakun, says the PM pleaded for residents in the South to continue pursuing a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“The premier deplores the ambush at Rattananuparb temple which resulted in deaths and injuries of monks. He ordered officials to urgently investigate the incident and bring those involved to justice. He asked the public to have confidence in the government’s commitment to restore peace in the country.”

UPDATE: Narathiwat temple murders - Security increased while PM condemns shooting | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Nation

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Human Rights Watch condemn Narathiwat temple murders as a war crime

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Human Rights Watch condemn Narathiwat temple murders as a war crime | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

The cold-blooded attack on a Narathiwat temple, where two monks were gunned down last night, was “inhumane and barbaric”.

Spokesman for the Defence Ministry, Lt General Kongcheep Tantrawanich, says that those behind the attack at Wat Rattananuparb in Sungai Padi district “showed no mercy”.

“They prefer to use violence to make people fear for their own benefits and influences in the area,” he said.

The spokesman called on the public and non-government organisations to openly condemn the acts and the militants behind the attack.

Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan earlier expressed regret for those killed and injured in the attack. Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has also condemned the attacks.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says the deadly attack on civilians in a place of worship in Narathiwat province is a war crime.

Separatist insurgents attacked the Rattanaphab temple last night killing two monks, including the temple’s abbot.

Brad Adams, HRW Asia director, says… “The ghastly attack on Buddhist monks by insurgents in Thailand’s deep south is morally reprehensible and a war crime, and those responsible should be held to account,” said

“The insurgents’ 15 year campaign of deliberately attacking Buddhist and Muslim civilians can’t be justified.”

Read an earlier story about the murders HERE.

Read more about the reaction from Human Rights Watch HERE.

Human Rights Watch condemn Narathiwat temple murders as a war crime | News by The Thaiger

Lt General Kongcheep Tantrawanich at a media conference this morning

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Two monks killed in temple shooting at Narathiwat

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Two monks killed in temple shooting at Narathiwat | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

“We believe that at least six assailants were involved in the shooting and are at large,” –  police spokesman in the Su-ngai Padi district.

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has condemned the latest violence in southern province Narathiwat where two monks were gunned down and others injured last night (Friday). Narathiwat is Thailand’s southern-most province.

Government spokesman Puttipong Bunnakun says that security authorities are now hunting for those behind the attack at the Rattananuparb temple in Sungai Padi district.

“The premier deplores the ambush at War Rattananuparb which resulted in deaths and injuries of monks. He ordered officials to urgently investigate the incident and bring those involved to justice. He asks the public to have confidence in the government’s commitment to restore peace in the country.”

The Nation reports that one of the slain monks was Prakru Prachote Rattananurak or Sawang, the abbot of the temple and chief monk of the Sungai Padi district.

Witnesses say the abbot was shot at close range and died instantly. Attackers are then reported to have opened the monk cubicles one by one firing randomly.

Witnesses says a group of about 10 men in camouflage uniforms, armed with military weapons, opened fire on monks who were in the temple at about 8.30pm last night.

Some witnesses claim the militants arrived on motorcycles while a Facebook user, Rungrot Kongpiban, quoted a monk who survived the attack saying the militants approached the back of the temple on foot.

The government spokesman said that the PM is ordering immediate strengthening of the security in the province and other areas and will arrange compensation for the families of the victims.

The shooting closely follows another incident yesterday morning when an insurgent was shot in a shootout between militants and insurgents near a local school. Read that story HERE.

SOURCE: The Nation | Reuters

Two monks killed in temple shooting at Narathiwat | News by The Thaiger

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