Bloody Ramadan in the deep South
The first half of the fasting month of Ramadan which ended on August 18 was one of the bloodiest period of the year with 13 bombings, 10 arson attacks and scores of shootings leaving 18 people dead and more than 25 injured.
One suspected insurgent and two village defence volunteers were killed and 19 people most of them members of the security forces were injured by bombings. However, most of the fatalities were caused by shootings.
The most violent incident took place on August 16 when a huge car bomb exploded at the car park of the government centre in Panareh district of Pattani. It was fortunate that no one was killed by the bomb blast which destroyed seven police cars and caused damages to government buildings and privately-owned houses within 300-metre radius.
The car bomb was traced to a stolen Isuzu pickup truck whose owner, Mr Suchart Suwanchaluey, was robbed and killed by suspected insurgents on June 21. The explosives in the truck were estimated to weigh about 20 kgs.
Details of the other violent incidents which took place during August 1-16 are as follows:
On August 16, suspected insurgents detonated a roadside bomb targeting against a patrol unit providing protection to teachers in Rueso district of Narathiwat. Fortunately, none of the patrolmen were killed or injured as the force of the blast from a claymore mine went toward the opposite direction. On the same day in Sabayoi district of Songkhla, a tipoff from villagers led a bomb demolition squad to the discovery of a motorcycle bomb which was eventually defused. On the same evening in Panareh distri of Pattani, one man was found blasted to death in Ban Klong. Police suspected that the dead victim might be a bomber killed when he accidentally set off the bomb.
On August 15, a roadside bomb exploded on a rural road in Si Sakhon district of Narathiwat as a patrol unit assigned to protect teachers passed the spot. No one was injured however.
On August 12, one army officer and fur paramilitary rangers were injured in a roadside bomb attack in Nong Chik district of Pattani. The troopers were travelling in an armoured pickup truck when they came under attack.
On August 11, four members of a bomb demolition squad were injured when suspected insurgents detonated a motorcycle bomb next to the body of a man shot dead earlier.
On August 10, suspected insurgents lobbed a bomb at an outpost in Sai Buri district of Pattani injuring three members of the security forces.
On August 9, a bomb exploded in front of the canteen of Ban Kawa school in Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat as a unit of paramilitary rangers was inspecting the school to look for a suspicious object thought to be a bomb. Noone was injured however.
On August 7, two village defence volunteers were killed by a roadside bomb in Raman district of Yala.
On August 6, suspected insurgents set off a motorcycle bomb in front of the Islamic Bank in the municipal are of Raman district, Yala. Six soldiers assigned to provide protection at the bank were injured by the bomb blast which also damaged six motorcycles, the door of the bank and the automatic telling machine or ATM. On the same evening, one village defence volunteer was seriously injured when a roadside bomb exploded on a road in Sukhirin district of Narathiwat as a patrol unit passed through the spot.
On August 15, suspected insurgents and their sympathizers carried out a string of arson attacks in Kok Pho and Nong Chik districts of Pattani targeting against mobile phone signal poles. Two convenience stores and one transformer causing a blackout in Ban Kok Chan. Six surveillance cameras were torched and a gas station pump was set afire.
The followings are shooting incidents:
On August 15, a teacher of Sai Buri Islam Foundation school was shot dead by the pillion rider of a motorcycle in Sai Buri district as he was riding in a motorcycle. The assailants also took away his handgun. On the same night, a Muslim was found dead with his body riddled with M16 gunshots at a rubber plantation in Kong Penang district of Yala. Another Muslim man was shot dead in Raman district of Yala as he was riding home in a motorcycle.
On August 14, a Muslim man was slain as he was heading home on his motorbike from a tea house in Bannang Sata district of Yala. A villager was also injured. On the same evening, one Muslim man was shot dead as he was riding home from a mosque in Rueso district of Narathiwat.
On August 13, gunmen opened fire with M16 assault rifles at two Muslim men riding on a motorcycle on a road in Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat. One was killed and the other seriously injured. On the same night in Ra-nage district of Narathiwat, a Muslim man was shot dead as he was walking home after leaving a restaurant.
August 11, a Muslim village headman was shot dead as he was riding his motorbike home by four assailants riding in two motorcycles. The assailants took away his service pistol.
On the same day, gunmen riding on the back of a pickup trucke shot dead a Muslim man in Kok Po district of Pattani.
August 4, gunmen believed to be insurgents shot and killed a police officer as he was riding home in a motorcycle in Panareh district of Pattani. A Muslim ranger was killed by the pillion rider of another motorcycle in Chaneh district of Narathiwat.
Caption : Motorcycle bomb in front of the Islamic Bank in Raman district of Yala