Bombing suspect killed in Pattani clash

A suspect wanted under a court warrant in connection with the May 9 bombing of Big C department store in Pattani province was killed in a clash with a military unit in Pattani’s Muang district early on Wednesday (July 12), police said.

At about 1 am, a team of soldiers of Task Force 23 laid siege to an area behind the mosque of Paka Harang village in tambon Paka Harang to arrest suspects wanted under court warrants in security-related cases.

While approaching the area, the authorities saw four to five people sleeping in hammocks and on bamboo beds under a tree and told them to surrender.

The men resisted the arrest and opened fire at the soldiers while trying to run away. A clash followed.

After the clash, the soldiers scoured the area and found the body of a man, identified as Suding Mama, who was wanted under a court warrant for allegedly taking part in the bombing of the Bic C superstore in Pattani on May 9.

The soldiers recovered two pistols — a 9mm and a .38 — found near the body and took them for examination to find out if they had been used in the past violent incidents.

The other suspects managed to flee the scene.

Lt Col Komet Rattanapongsai, commander of Task Force 23, said the action followed information that a group of suspected militants arrived at the spot on Tuesday night and used it as a bivouac.