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Thailand: Bomb blast rocks security checkpoint in Pattani

5th Jul 2016
Thailand: Bomb blast rocks security checkpoint in Pattani

By P.S. Waller

 

BANGKOK (AA): A security checkpoint in southern Thailand was rocked by a bomb blast early Tuesday, with insurgents continuing a campaign of violence as the Muslim holy month comes to a close.

An official who requested anonymity citing ongoing investigations told Anadolu Agency that the explosion occurred in Nong Chik in Pattani Province at 10.30 a.m (0330GMT) Tuesday, injuring two security officers.

Pattani is one of three provinces — Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat — wracked by the insurgency.

He added that the attacks were likely caused by insurgents, as there had been a step up in violence coinciding with the end of the Ramadan period.

On Monday around 8.00 p.m., three civilians were injured as two M79 grenades were thrown in front of a mosque in Yala’s Banang Sata district.

The incident followed the shooting deaths of two villagers after their car was ambushed early Sunday in Yala province, and the death of two suspected insurgents in a shootout with soldiers on Saturday in Narathiwat.

Earlier in the day, two soldiers were also wounded when a remote-controlled bomb exploded in Narathiwat’s Ying-ngo district.

The southern insurgency is rooted in a century-old ethno-cultural conflict between Malay Muslims living in the southern region and the Thai central state where Buddhism is considered the de-facto national religion.

Armed insurgent groups were formed in the 1960s after the then-military dictatorship tried to interfere in Muslim schools, but the insurgency faded in the 1990s.

In 2004, a rejuvenated armed movement – composed of numerous local cells of fighters loosely grouped around an organization called the National Revolutionary Front or BRN – emerged.

Negotiations between an umbrella group representing various insurgent factions – including some from the BRN – and the military government – which seized power in a May 2014 coup – have been on-going since 2015, with Malaysia acting as a facilitator.

Author Ekip

 

[Photo: Bomb attack in Patani on 25 May, 2014. Photographer: Don Pathan/AA]

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