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Southeast Asia
Three killed in more than 50 attacks in southern Thailand
2013-02-18
Terrorists Insurgents kept security authorities running in Pattani province Sunday with a series of up to 50 coordinated bombing and arson attacks. They included a bomb explosion outside a restaurant in Pattani town about noon which killed three defense volunteers. The explosion also wounded dozens of people.

The blast was part of a string of coordinated attacks by separatist terrorists militants in Pattani's Muang and Yaring districts which started at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The fatal blast took place just around midday outside a three-story restaurant. Two defense volunteers were killed on the spot. The third victim was pronounced dead at hospital. The blast also damaged a car and 10 motorcycles. Officials said two bombs were set to go off. One was detonated but was not fully operational.

About an hour later, a bomb was discovered near a fire-gutted supermarket and successfully defused before it was set off. The grocery store was damaged 12 hours earlier in a blaze which was triggered by a firebomb explosion. No one was wounded.

Two firebombs were found and defused at two different shops before the supermarket was set on fire. As the firefighters battled with the blaze, a fire broke out at a four-story electrical appliance store, where an elderly couple was rescued.

Simultaneously, a firebomb exploded at a cooking ware store, but the shop owner was able to put out the fire.

Another explosive device was discovered at 6:40 p.m. on Saturday outside a shop. It was set to go off before midnight. Another device went off about 7 p.m. near a karaoke bar, wounding one person. A third device, a motorcycle loaded with a bomb, was successfully defused.

A defense volunteer shelter, a mobile telephone signal tower and closed-circuit television cameras were set ablaze in three arson attacks in Yarang district Sunday morning, as the string of attacks continued.

Pitak Korkiatpitak, mayor of Pattani's Muang district, said he was hesitant to link the weekend attacks with the deaths of 16 terrorists militants in Narathiwat last week. He said, "The insurgents strike whenever they see a chance. We have to step up security and surveillance."

About 50 heavily armed gunmen assaulted a military base in Narathiwat on Wednesday but were repelled in a counter-attack which killed 16 of the attackers.

The atmosphere in Muang district was grim. Most businesses were closed and people stayed indoors. Bomb disposal squads, fire trucks and ambulances were on standby and checkpoints were put up every 300 meters across the town.

Narathiwat, Yala and five districts of Songkhla were placed on the highest security alert following the violence in Pattani.
Posted by:ryuge

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