Grenade attack on Army base in Pattani leaves 5 soldiers injured
Five soldiers were wounded in a grenade attack on an Army base in the insurgency-hit province of Pattani late onFriday night.
Police said the assailants fired M79 grenades to attack the Army base located on Pattani-Yala Road in Yarang district.
The five soldiers were privates from Udon Thani identified as Aphichart Phothijantha, 22, Aphirak Srisuthat, 22, Jakkraphong Karnnit, 22, Khongdet Saensrikhammuan, 23 and Suthiphong Sarisai, 23. They were rushed to Yarang Hospital.
In related news, the president of a tambon administrative organisation in the same province was shot dead right after he and his daughter arrived at his rented house early yesterday morning in Nong Chik district.
Mahama Pula, 43, president of Dato Tambon Administrative Organisation, was shot dead with a .38 calibre weapon after he parked his car and was about to take his 6-year-old daughter out of the car.
In Yala's Muang district, two unidentified teenagers were severely injured by shots fired from an M16 rifle in a drive-by shooting yesterday while returning from a mosque.
Police are investigating to see if the two cases are related to the regional insurgency.
To deal with violence in the three southernmost border provinces, Deputy Prime Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha is proposing a measure that will establish more drug checkpoints in those provinces.
Yuthasak said that since the insurgency targeting mainly government security officials in the restive provinces was related to drug- and petrol-smuggling gangs, he was seeking permission from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to put up more drug checkpoints to address the threat.
"I will put the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Immigration Bureau in charge of the establishment of more checkpoints," Yuthasak said.
He said the gangs wanted to scare the security forces, so they backed the insurgents to commit violence and hired them to work for their drug and smuggling networks, while the insurgents still maintained their mission for a separate state. Local residents had asked authorities to focus more on smuggling of drugs and illegal goods. Security officers at some checkpoints reported seizing more illegal petrol and drugs, but found fewer bombs.
Yuthasak said there was a plan to increase the number of border patrol police working in the area. Hence, decommissioned soldiers who apply to be border patrol police would be the first group to be selected.
He urged governors of those provinces to order subordinates to strictly survey and ensure their officers' safety after the recent car bomb at the government complex in Pattani. He blamed the incident on the carelessness by civil service administrative officers.
He said he would probably propose that the prime minister approve the structure of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre tomorrow.