Villagers taken in under martial law for questioning over Yala shoot-out, Southern Thailand

PHOTO: Charoon Thongnual

Security officials have interrogated 18 people living near the site of this week’s clash between soldiers and suspected insurgents in Yala’s Yaha district.

“They were brought in for questioning under martial law as authorities intend to go after the unidentified gunmen in Monday’s clash,” a source said yesterday.

The Nation reports that the gunfight lasted several hours in Moo 4, Tambon Kathong, on Monday morning whilst authorities were trying to step up security measures in the area. The violent confrontation killed a suspected insurgent and injured two officials.

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Abdullah Lateh, wanted for several security crimes, died at the scene. Yala is a province in the deep South where unrest has raged on for more than a decade, claiming thousands of lives.

In the nearby province of Pattani, police are still investigating a bomb blast that rocked the Bo Thong Market in Nong Chik district. That incident also happened on Monday.

The explosion killed two people, including a 14 year old boy, and injured 23 others. Of those injured, eight remain in hospital.

The ongoing investigation speculates that the rangers were the targets of the attack, as it was very likely that bombers knew that rangers would be providing security at the market. Explosives hidden inside a parked motorcycle went off just 10 minutes after the rangers arrived.

The blast injured four rangers, all of whom are now being treated in hospital. One of the rangers, 34 year old Abdulloh Kahong, is reportedly in a critical condition.

“The motorcycle used for this blast was also used for a shooting at a restaurant last month,” said Pattani’s police chief, Pol Maj-General Piyawat Chalermsri.

SOURCE: The Nation

South Thailand News

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