Stores in the Deep South warned to watch out for suspicious customers

Groceries and convenience stores in three southernmost provinces have been warned by security officials to look out for suspicious-behaving customers to prevent perpetrators from planting small fire bombs in their premises.

The alert followed bomb and arson attacks in Narathiwat on Feb 23 when three local stores were burnt down. Authorities found remains of a wallet believed to contain a small fire bomb placed among spray cans at a shop which was hit by a fire bomb.

Security officials said suspected militants wanted to undermine economy in the Deep South by targeting groceries, convenience stores and department stores using small fire bombs hidden in wallets and placed among inflammable goods such as spray cans.

Yaring district police informed owners and staffers of stores to carefully observe their customers to watch out for suspicious behavior as a precautionary measure to prevent fire bomb attacks.

Meanwhile, Maj-Gen Chatuporn Klampasut, commander of Pattani task force, said that security forces had detained nine suspects allegedly involved in bomb attacks in the province on Feb 11.

He claimed that eight of the detained suspects had confessed and authorities are still looking for 11 other suspects who are still at large.