Security forces in Pattani on Friday (Jan 5) announced the arrest of a gang of five suspected southern militants blamed for a string of deadly gun attacks in Pattani dating back to the year 2010.
The five suspects were identified as Ismael Masae, Sulaiman Da-oh, Marosdee Jitorsor, Raukee Daemor and Supkleeplee Salae.
Speaking at a press conference held at Ingkayuttaboriharn Camp in Pattani, Pol Maj-Gen Piyawat Chalermsri, commander of Pattani provincial police, said that the five suspected militants normally met at tea shops to plot their attacks and then used masjids as a safe house.
He then pleaded for understanding from Muslim people in the province about the need of security forces to search some of the masjids.
He also called on people in the province not to provide shelter for suspected militants or face legal actions.
The five suspects were blamed for six violent incidents as follows:
-The shooting to death of Mr Apichart sae Chua and the torching of his body on March 9, 2010 at a grocery on Yarang road, Muang district;
-The fatal shooting of Mr Veera Panthon, a lecturer at Pattani Technical College, in front of a laundry shop on Charoenpradit road in Muang district;
-The fatal shooting of Pisut Ngernpot, a retired police officer, at the La-nga cemetery in Muang district on October 25, 2010;
-The shooting to death of Mr Wichet Boonchai, a security guard, on April 7, 2011, near his lodging in Muang district;
-The shooting of Pol Cpt Chote and the seizure of his pistol at a pier in Muang district on April 3, 2012; and
-The fatal shooting of Mr Wichit Ratapaiboon as he was jogging on Charoenpradit road in Muang district on November 5, 2011.