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Southeast Asia
Armed men raid defense outpost in southern Thailand
About 40 armed men in military-style uniforms yesterday raided a village defense volunteers' outpost in Pattani province and stole five assault rifles.

The outpost was surrounded by the men about 5:30 a.m. The group tied up the volunteers before making off with four AK-47s and one M16 along with five bullet-proof vests, a communication radio and a number of mobile phones. The armed men left without harming the volunteers.

All security units in the deep South have been alerted to take extra precautions for possible attacks following the raid. According to sources, terrorists insurgents are preparing to launch attacks and weapons heists may intensify during this period.

Meanwhile, security units have been told to look out for a silver Toyota Vigo pickup truck, which was stolen from Pattani's Khok Pho district on Thursday. Officials believed the vehicle could be loaded with bombs to target the local community.

Sources say recent attacks on teachers may have been in response to the murders of an Islamic religious teacher and a local imam during the past two months.

Mahama Ma-air, a teacher at Yala's Thammawithaya Islamic School, was gunned down on Oct 30 in Pattani's Yarang district, while Abdullateh Todir, the chairman of the Muslim religious leaders of Yaha district and a member of the Yala Islamic Committee, was gunned down on Nov 14.

A source said, "The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre has set up an investigation panel to look into the cases."
Posted by:ryuge