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Drug Gang Believed to be Behind Golf Course Bombs



An entrance sign to Thachilek on the northern Thai border


CHIANGRAI TIMES – Anger over drug suppression efforts by Burmese and Thai authorities was probably behind the bomb blasts at a golf course in Tachilek that took the life of a one boy and injured five others on Saturday, say intelligence authorities.

The first bomb went off at the 13th hole of the Regina Hotel & Golf Club where senior Burmese soldiers, police and businessmen were playing at the time, according to an article in The Bangkok Post on Wednesday.

A second bomb exploded at the 17th hole about half an hour later and injured three Tachilek police officers.

The blasts were probably a warning to Burmese authorities who are cooperating with their Thai counterparts in targeting drug gangs, a Thai soldier told newspaper.

“The government told authorities to seek support from neighboring countries in blocking illicit drugs from being smuggled into the country and the cooperation between Thailand and Myanmar has recently peaked,” he said.

The joint crackdown is putting pressure on local drug gangs, he said. Thailand is a major market for Burmese drugs and chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs including methamphetamine, or “ya baa (crazy medicine).”

Last week, Col. Thanadpol Kosaisawee, commander of special forces of the 3nd Cavalry Regiment’s Phamuang Task Force in Chiang Rai, told reporters the golf course was hosting a golf tournament to mark Armed Forces Day in Burma.

Thanadpol said the local Burmese border committee has contacted its Thai counterparts to step up security measures along the border.

Drug violence in the Golden Triangle area of Burma, Laos and Thailand is common. Recently, an attack on a Tachilek police station took the lives of five police officers and the station chief. Thirteen Burmese soldiers were also recently killed in the district during a clash with a drug gang. In October 2011, 13 Chinese sailors were killed on the Mekong River in an incident tied to drugs. A number of Thai soldiers have been accused in the deaths.- Mizzima

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