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UPDATE: Four defence volunteers killed at school by militants

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UPDATE: Four defence volunteers killed at school by militants | The Thaiger
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PHOTOS: The Nation | Thai PBS

Disguising themselves as army troops, suspected militants surprised a unit of defence volunteers this morning when they opened fire on them at a school in Yarang district, Pattani. They killed four volunteers and taking away their assault rifles.

The violent incident occurred in the compound of Ban Pukoh school in Village 5, Tambon Prachan, where four defence volunteers were assigned to provide protection to teachers.

Wearing army fatigues, the gunmen approached the four volunteers who mistook them as troops and then opened fire with their automatic weapons.

The four volunteers were killed at the scene and the assailants grabbed their HK assault rifles, ran toward a waiting pickup truck and escaped.

The shooting incident shocked and caused panic among teachers and students who screamed in horror as they scrambled for cover. The school was later ordered closed and all the students sent home.

In Betong district of neighboring Yala province, security was ordered to be stepped up and defence volunteers assigned to protect communities were told to check all vehicles entering the communities as a precautionary measure.

Security officials suspect that the attack was carried out by militants associated with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, an armed militia which does not take part in the Malaysia-brokered peace negotiation between the government and Mara Patani.

A car bomb was detonated near a Border Patrol Police task force base in Thepa district of Songkhla province on Tuesday, injuring two border patrol policemen and shattering a transformer, causing partial blackout in the district.

Police tracked the wreckage of pickup truck which was used as car bomb to its owner, a retired school teacher, who was murdered and hanged in his house before insurgents stole his pickup for the attack.

UPDATE: Four defence volunteers killed at school by militants | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Dead Covid-19 train passenger had just returned from India, Pakistan, had contact with 3 Phuket cases

Greeley Pulitzer

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Dead Covid-19 train passenger had just returned from India, Pakistan, had contact with 3 Phuket cases | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AP

“The deceased had participated in a Dawah [Muslim missionary] activity in India in February, and before that he had been to Pakistan.”

The 57-year-old Thai man found dead on a Bangkok-Narathiwat train on Tuesday had recently returned from India. Preecha Nuannoi, district chief of Su-Ngai Kolok in Narathiwat province, made the announcement yesterday.

“He was a local of Su-Ngai Kolok and had boarded the train from Bangkok on March 30 to return home. However, he was found dead when the train made a rest stop at Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Thap Sakae district.”

Tests on the body at Songkhla hospital came back positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus on Wednesday.

Preecha says Narathiwat public health authorities sent officials to interview and test the victim’s family members and also disinfect his home.

The body was not sent to Narathiwat but instead buried Wednesday at an Islamic cemetery in Thap Sakae district, where family members joined the ceremony.

The dead man is known to have had contact in Pakistan with 3 cases of the virus confirmed in Phuket today. The southern island province reported 13 new cases, bring its total to 100.

The State Railway of Thailand announced it had disinfected and cleaned the train thoroughly. Eight train staff were ordered home for 14 days of self-quarantine, while a list of about 10 passengers who may have come into close contact with the victim was sent to the Public Health Ministry.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Quarantine

Surat Thani man “goes berserk” after 5 days in quarantine

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Surat Thani man “goes berserk” after 5 days in quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: springnews.co.th

Wiang Sa Police Station in Surat Thani province was notified that a 32 year old Thai man was unable to control himself and was screaming continuously inside his house.

The man’s mother says that her son had just arrived back from Bangkok and she had locked him inside the house following the quarantine order. But after the 5th day of confinement, he started to show signs of stress and “loss of control”. She explained that her son had a history of mental illness and might not have been taking his medication while living in Bangkok.

Police officers told his mother to distract her son by talking to him while they snuck into the house via the backdoor. Once inside, they apprehended the man and took him to the police station. It took about an hour before they could calm him down.

He was later sent to a hospital to be checked by medical experts.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Yala authorities fear local Muslims will ignore Friday prayer ban

Greeley Pulitzer

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Yala authorities fear local Muslims will ignore Friday prayer ban | The Thaiger
PHTOT: Alamy

Officials in Yala in Thailand’s Deep South are urgently trying to convince Muslim leaders of the need to follow orders that suspends traditional Friday prayers at all mosques. The Chularatchamontri, spirtual leader of Thailand’s many Muslims, ordered prayers suspended over worries that large gatherings may spread the Covid-19 coronavirus. Provincial governor Chaiyasit Panitpong, meanwhile, appealed to residents to contact health authorities if they suspect anyone is infected.

Yala is one of the 4 southern border provinces that are home to Thailand’s Southern Insurgency, a decades old separatist movement which has killed more people than the Palestinian conflict in the Middle East. It’s also the southern province hit hardest by the pandemic. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration yesterday reported the number of infections there at 35, one more than neighbouring Pattani, but the provincial health department in Yala posted 41 cases.

As of this morning (Thursday) there have been 12 deaths nationwide attributed to the virus, two of them in Yala, and all during a three day span, between Sunday and Tuesday this week. Both victims had visited Kelantan state in northern Malaysia on separate occasions, and both also developed symptoms after returning to Yala.

On March 25 the Chularatchamontri announced the suspension of Friday prayers at all mosques.He advised all Muslims to pray at home, to help curb the spread of the virus.

Friday prayers at the local mosque are the most important prayers of the week for most Muslims. Authorities worry that large gatherings could seriously worsen the spread of Covid-19. They have locked down Yala province since Sunday, when infections suddenly spiked, telling people to stay in their homes.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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