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  1. #1

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    Three charged with South bombings

    Three charged with South bombings

    (BangkokPost.com from reports)
    Security forces have arrested three Muslim men in connection with a series of bombs and shootings that killed eight people in the far south of the country at the weekend.
    Four Army (southern region of Thailand) commander Lt-Gen Viroach Buacharoon said all three had confessed and been charged.

    Lt-Gen Buacharoon gave no details of the individual arrested. But he said the men were in their 20s and 30s, and had received "intensive military training" from the fighter group called the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK).

    The group, which has been active for at least two years, is formed from the core of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, an old separatist group. Members are thought to have received training from terrorist organisations in Indonesia.


    They also implicated others for involvement in the major attacks during Chinese New Year celebrations, Gen Viroch said, adding that one of the suspects staged the attack in Songkhla’s Thepha district while the others committed violent acts in Narathiwat’s Bacho district.

    The senior army officer also disclosed that the three men had been given drinks that contained narcotics and cough syrup before they carried out the attacks, similar to the April 28, 2004 incident.

    The general was referring to the incident in which over 100 militants were killed after nine hours of violent clashes between the authorities and insurgents in Pattani. Of these, 32 people were killed inside the Krue Se mosque after heavily armed security forces stormed into the holy place.

    The Internal Security Operations Command announced earlier that suspected militants launched 54 nearly simultaneous attacks on Feb 18 including 29 bomb blasts, 11 arson attacks on government buildings and schools and at least five shooting incidents.

    Last Sunday’s attacks were the first time the insurgents had simultaneously struck all four southern provinces - Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla.




    xxxxxxx
    Earlier story

    Lop Buri (TNA) – The military may impose a nightly curfew throughout the southern provinces - but only if local residents agree to the idea, Army commander-in-chief Sonthi Boonyaratkalin said on Tuesday.

    He made his comments during a visit to this Army-oriented town, long a centre identified with Thailand's special forces military elite.

    The Army chief, who is concurrently chairman of the Council for National Security and a former special forces commander, said Thailand's image in the eyes of the world community might be affected, should the predominantly Muslim residents of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani reject the idea of a curfew.

    The insurgents had tried to publicise the deep South unrest in the world community and escalate their subversive acts into an international issue, and the government must resist the ply, Gen Sonthi said.

    The insurgents imitate global terrorism, he said, but their acts are relatively minor, the Army chief said.

    Gen Sonthi said only a small proportion of Thailand's ethnic Malay Muslims mistrust the authorities, especially the military. Local populations apparently fear that
    the presence of military units in their communities could expose them and their families to insurgent raids, the Army chief said.

    Nonetheless, some ethnic Malay Muslims had directly asked him to keep military patrols, for fear of insurgent attacks.

    Gen Sonthi made his comments following Sunday's spate of bombings and torchings in the four southern border provinces, including Songkhla, which left seven persons dead and injured at least 54 others.

  2. #2

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    Two new blasts in Narathiwat, but Yala bomb defused

    Narathiwat (TNA) - More bombings took place in Thailand's South Tuesday as two bombs exploded in Narathiwat, while another inside a Yala municipality convenience store was disarmed.

    Meanwhile, authorities are conducting an intensive manhunt for a group of suspects believed involved in Sunday's terrorist attacks, and urgent assistance for those affected by the incidents is under way.

    A 5 kg bomb hidden beneath a tree alongside a school fence in Ban Koto village in Narathiwat's Yi-ngo district exploded at 2 am Tuesday morning, making a large crater on the ground, but it caused no injury.

    The explosion site was a spot where police and military personnal as well as village volunteers usually pass by while on teacher guard duty.

    At 8 am Tuesday a bomb exploded at the gate of the Chanae district office, but it also caused no injury. Bomb fragments were scattered around the area.

    In Si Sakhon district, insurgents attacked a border patrol police operational base at Ban Tue Ngo school in Si Banbot sub-district at 4:20 am. No casualties were reported from the 10-minute exchange of gunfire.

    Meanwhile, at 7am, a Yala bomb disposal unit successfully defused an explosive device placed inside a 7-Eleven convenience store in Yala municipality.

    According to police, store employees alerted the authorities after seeing a man entering and leaving the store in an suspicious manner. Staff making an inspection identified a box and notified police after he left.

    Yala's bomb disposal team took the box outside the store and destroyed it with a water jet.

    Pattani provincial governor Phanu Uthairat said that 27 suspects have been identified and they are being traced by the authorities. The governor said he was confident the culprits will be arrested and prosecuted.

    In Pattani alone, he said, the damage caused by Sunday's attacks was initially estimated at more than 100 million baht.

    Bangkok Post

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    Boy who saw dad blown up embodies kids' woes in South


    ANJIRA ASSAVANONDA

    The grief of Jetsada Naklang, the 12-year-old boy who saw his father die in a bomb explosion in front of their house in Yala's Raman district on Monday, was a reminder of the plight of children living with violence in the deep South. Pechdao Tohmeena, a physician attached to Mental Health Centre 15, responsible for Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla, estimated that at least 6,000 children had been affected by the bombings and shootings in the deep South over the past three years.

    She said the centre's records from January 2004 up to now showed that more than 4,000 families had been affected by violent incidents with members injured or killed. Some of the affected families had between four and nine children each.

    ''We estimated that at least 6,000 children have become orphans or been affected by the incidents,'' said Dr Pechdao.

    Authorities have divided the children into five groups. They are children directly affected, such as those injured, children who were not injured but witnessed incidents, children who were not involved in the incidents but whose parents were injured or killed, underprivileged children who, in the unrest, were ignored even more by their families, and other children living in the area.

    Dr Pechdao said the traumatic impact of the incidents had become deeply rooted in the children's minds and might take from five to 10 years to heal.

    ''One of the traumatic cases we found was the shooting of a teacher in front of 40 students in Narathiwat over a year ago. After conducting group therapy with the children, we found that some of them had nightmares and, even in their sleep, had hidden under the bed as if to hide from the bullets,'' said Dr Pechdao.

    She cited another case of a four-year-old girl who was with her mother when four gunmen stormed into their house to search for a hidden weapon. One of them pointed the gun at her mother's head until the girl screamed and insisted they knew nothing about any weapon. The gunmen gave up and left the house.

    ''Ever since, the girl has become panic-stricken on hearing the sound of a motorcycle at night, and cannot sleep,'' said the doctor.

    She admitted the problem is difficult to cope with because the affected children do not stay together in any particular area, but are scattered around over the four provinces.

    Besides the mental health centre, there is also a committee for the mental rehabilitation of people affected by the violence in the deep South, that was set up by the previous government.

    Under the interim government, the committee resumed its tasks under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Aree Wongarya. It met once earlier this year to discuss the overall situation. The next meeting will be at Government House today.

    Dr Pechdao, who is also secretary to the committee, said the authority has come up with a plan to produce handbooks about caring for traumatised children. There will be two kinds _ one for public health workers in the area, and another for parents, teachers, and people close to the children.

    The handbooks, she said, will explain about mental health problems in children of different ages, and how to deal with them properly. ''Children of dead terrorist suspects, for example, are often sneered at by their school friends. If we do not save them, these kids will turn into a timebomb easily used by the insurgents,'' said Dr Pechdao. She urged families and communities to pay greater attention to affected children, especially those who were silent and did not open themselves up to others.
    ''Children who have witnessed killings should be kept away from news reports of any violence that could remind them of the tragic scenes,'' she said. Teachers could play a big role in helping traumatised children, but they need healing too.

    Bangkok Post

  4. #4
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    What about the 1 million-B, reward for the Bangkok Bomber.
    Lets see what that does!.

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