New twist in the killing of four suspected militants in Thung Yang Daeng district
The killing of four suspected militants by security forces in Pattani’s Thung Yang Daeng district on the night of March 25 has turned messy as their relatives claimed that the victims were innocent and two of them were students.
The Fatoni University issued a statement two days afterward claiming that two of the victims, 24-year old Korlid Mameng and 23-year old Madaree Maeroh were its fourth-year students and none of them posed a security threat nor they were members of the RKK insurgent group.
The university said further that it had never been notified by the security agencies that the two students were a security threat or there were warrants for their arrest.
The university administration has demanded an independent committee to be set up to investigate the case. It also asked the media to report this incident with fairness.
Mr Nasae Dorkor, head of Village 6, insisted that there had never been evidences suggesting that the house raided by the security forces were linked to the militants but it could a joint for youths to consume krathom drink (a kind of narcotic drink).
He claimed that the AK47 assault rifle found beside the body of a victim, Saddam Wanoo, did not belong to the victim. He disclosed that there were only three anti-government elements in the village with two of them already in custody and the third was about to turn himself in.
Saddam’s mother claimed that her son had never associated with any militants but merely went to the house for a krathom drink.
It was reported that Lt-Gen Prakarn Cholayuth, commander of the Fourth Army Region, and Mr Panu Uthairat, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre planned to visit the village to clear the air with the dissenting villagers.
According to the military, security forces were rushed to the house in question after they received a tipoff that some suspected militants were gathering there with a plan to launch an attack on an outpost.
Besides the four dead victims, 22 others were rounded up. The military said that the four dead victims and some of the arrested suspects were involved with violent incidents, including the arson attacks against six schools in Thung Yang Daeng and Mayo districts on last October 12.
The 22 arrested suspects have been sent to the interrogation centre for questioning and undergoing DNA tests to determine whether they were linked to other violent incidents or not.