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Southeast Asia
Top Thai terrorist nabbed, arms seized
Security officials have found a large weapons cache in Narathiwat, thwarting what they believe was a terror plot planned for the New Year holidays. The discovery followed the arrest on Thursday of Rutsaran Sale, alleged leader of the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) terrorist insurgent group.

The officers were inspecting a rubber plantation in Cho Airong district late Friday night when they found the weapons and explosive material buried beneath some rubber trees.

One AK and five M16 assault rifles, a shotgun and several hundred rounds of ammunition were uncovered, along with 20 kg of urea fertiliser and several sheets of metal for manufacturing explosives. Officers think the weapons were being stockpiled by Mr Rutsaran for use in attacks over the holiday weekend.

Mr Rutsaran was arrested on charges of attacking a marine police unit in Tak Bai district and shooting a schoolteacher in Cho Airong district. His interrogation led officers to the weapons.

An investigation of the seized M16 rifles found three were among the 413 guns stolen from the 4th Development Battalion in Cho Airong district on Jan 4, 2004. Four soldiers were killed that day, and the attack marked the beginning of a new phase of the southern insurgency.

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