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Suspects are denying involvement in Tuesday’s Songkhla bomb attack

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Suspects are denying involvement in Tuesday’s Songkhla bomb attack | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

Three suspects, arrested in connection with Tuesday’s murder and car-bomb attack in Songkhla, have denied any involvement in the incidents.

Eight border patrol police members, including five women, were injured when a bomb, placed in a pickup truck, exploded at about 5.50am on a rural road near a knockdown structure used by border patrol police.

The pickup used for the explosion was also found to have been stolen from a retiree, found murdered inside his home in Songkhla province on Tuesday.

“Following the explosion, we dispatched officials to suspicious areas along the shared borders of Songkhla’s Saba Yoi and Thepha districts and Pattani’s Nong Chik district. We have detained three suspects,” Colonel Pramote Prom-in said yesterday as spokesman for the Forward Command of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4.

According to him, all three suspects have been detained at military camps and are being questioned, but they are denying any involvement in the blast.

Investigators believe up 10 people were involved but evaded CCTV detection by using secondary roads.

“There were two teams for the plot,” the source said.

“The first killed a man and took his vehicle. The other one turned the vehicle into a car bomb.”

The murdered man was identified as 62 year old Amata Samotantawee, a resident of Saba Yoi district.

The source added that the teams must have been very familiar with local routes, because the vehicle used had not been captured on CCTV cameras at any point.

The injured border patrol police members are now in a safe condition.

They were visited yesterday at the Yala Police Hospital by four senior officers.

Thailand’s southernmost region has been struggling with unrest for more than a decade, during which bloody incidents have occurred at times almost on a daily basis. More than 6,000 lives have been lost in the ongoing insurgency.

Suspects are denying involvement in Tuesday's Songkhla bomb attack | News by The Thaiger Suspects are denying involvement in Tuesday's Songkhla bomb attack | News by The Thaiger Suspects are denying involvement in Tuesday's Songkhla bomb attack | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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UPDATE: 4000 villagers attend funeral rites for slain monks in Narathiwat

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UPDATE: 4000 villagers attend funeral rites for slain monks in Narathiwat | The Thaiger

Over 4,000 villagers, including more than 300 monks from several temples in southern provinces and border provinces of Malaysia, have attended a bathing ritual for the two monks slain by gunmen who stormed Wat Rattananuparb in Narathiwat on Friday night.

Read more about the raid HERE.

The bathing rites for Phra Khru Prachote Rattananurak, the abbot of Wat Rattananuparb, and another monk was attended an co-charied by the Fourth Army Region commander Lt-Gen Pornsak Poonsawat and the chief monk of the southern region, Phra Promjariyajarn.

For security reason, the people who came from other districts and provinces were given the priority to perform the bathing rite so that they could return home before nightfall.

The temple’s abbot and three other monks were having tea at a pavilion on the temple ground before their daily prayer on Friday evening when about 10 gunmen, believed to be southern militants, attacked and killed the Wat’s head abbot and another monk.  Two other monks were also seriously injured in the assault.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a statement condemning the assault and the murder of a Muslim cleric of Rueso district of Narathiwat back on January 11.

The commission also urged people in the restive region to cooperate with the authorities to watch out for suspicious activities or people in order to prevent violent incidents from occurring.

UPDATE: 4000 villagers attend funeral rites for slain monks in Narathiwat | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Wat Rattananuparb – Thai PBS

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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

The Thaiger & The Nation

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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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