|Police discover 22 small bombs around Hat Yai|
|Police yesterday confiscated 22 small home-made bombs planted in downtown Songkhla and near the main gate of Prince of Songkhla University in Hat Yai,|
a police source said, suggesting that the operation might have been politically motivated.Published on October 7, 2007
Five bombs were placed near the university and 12 near a restaurant in Songkhla, while five were left in a public park in Hat Yai. No details were given.
The bombs were relatively small, without shrapnel or a fuse.
The perpetrator apparently intended to “create incidents” to discredit authorities, said the source.
Hat Yai has been the scene of several bombing incidents, but security officials suspect the devices they found yesterday were politically motivated and not related to the insurgency in the Malay-speaking provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
Explosives used in the three southernmost provinces – frequently for roadside bombing attacks against police and passing military vehicles – are much larger and often loaded with shrapnel material.
Meanwhile, three assistant village chiefs were targeted by suspected insurgents in the latest violence in the deep South, with only one surviving with serious injuries.
Assistant village chief Wae-hama Kahamah, 40, a resident of Tambon Prachan in Pattani’s Yarang district, was shot dead just moments after he walked out of the local mosque yesterday, police said.
Eyewitness said Wae-hama, who also served as chairman of the village fund, was killed by a lone gunman who walked up and shot him once in the head before jumping on a getaway motorcycle waiting just metres away.
In Narathiwat, assistant village chief Sorpee Maeroh , 35, of Tambon Bango-stoe in Rangae district, was shot four times as he was riding his motorbike on Friday evening.
He survived but is in critical condition.
In nearby Chanae district in Tambon Chang Peurk, Che-por Dae-mah, 53, was shot dead as soon as he left his house to pray at a local mosque yesterday.
He was hit twice in the back and died at the scene.
Also yesterday, a 77-year-old woman was killed by militants in her house in Yala.
More than 2,600 people have been killed since a separatist insurgency broke out in January 2004 in the Muslim-majority south.
Meanwhile, Fourth Army Area commander Lt-General Wirote Buacharoon will double as head of the Civilian-Police-Military 43 (CPM43) in the latest rotation of officers, Army spokesman Colonel Acra Thiproch said.
Witote will replace Maj-General Samrej Srirai, who will be reassigned as deputy commander of the Fourth Army Area.