Security officials in the Deep South are on high alert as they anticipate increased violence by southern insurgents this week to mark the upcoming establishment anniversary of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) on Oct 25.
Police, volunteers and soldiers were placed on full alert with road checkpoints setting up to screen vehicles entering southern cities as there was earlier report that some stolen vehicles were turned into car bombs.
Several violent attacks were reported this week in Narathiwat, all involving bomb attacks. Fortunately nobody were hurt.
Yesterday (Oct 19), a pipe bomb was hurled into a checkpoint at a market in Narathiwat’s Chanae district by a pillion rider of a motorcycle as volunteers were patrolling the market.
The bomb missed the checkpoint but landed at the back of the kitchen of the checkpoint. The perpetrators escaped in the motorcycle.
In Sungai Padi district, a roadside bombs was detonated as a six-wheel military truck loaded with royal donated supplies to deliver to volunteers on public work.
The explosion caused no damage to the truck. Shrapnels of 20kg broken gas tank was found. It was detonated by radio transmitter.
Yaya Panako, chief of Muang Narathiwat district, yesterday led a group of local administration officials to visit volunteers at five safety zones in the municipal area after the bomb explosion.
These volunteers are helping the police and soldiers to screen and check all vehicles entering the town’s safety zones.
The increased security is a measure to prevent violence as this month marks the establishment of the BRN insurgent group on Oct 25.
According to Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat, an independent expert on southern conflict, BRN is a liberation group that operates in Thailand’s southernmost region, historically known as Patani.
Some BRN members have joined a handful of liberation groups in their personal capacity to form the umbrella organisation Mara Patani, which has been engaging in a peace dialogue with the Thai government. The BRN’s leadership, however, has decided to stay away from the military-led peace talks.