An army ranger has been killed and three other ranger volunteers were injured in a roadside bomb attack in southern Thailand’s border province of Yala. According to police the device went off around 10 a.m. while a patrol of army rangers and volunteers strolled through the area.
An initial inquiry revealed that the attackers, who were hidden at a rubber plantation behind a school, detonated the explosives as soon as the patrol arrived.
Sgt Sommai Natsuebwong, the deceased ranger, was recognized. Natthaphol Upatha suffered shattered legs, Komin Sarathee suffered major shrapnel wounds all over his body, and Porncharoen Yokphoonpholdee suffered head injuries.
Police cordoned off the area until explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officers arrived to investigate.
According to police, the bombing occurred in a vacant house near Ban Taopoon School. The power of the explosion created a crater at the house. The area was littered with pieces of a cooking gas cylinder and a bomb, and it was assumed that the 30kg bomb was hidden inside the cylinder.
According to the investigation, Sgt Sommai, the patrol team’s leader, and seven other patrol personnel were on foot patrol 300-500 metres away from the school to protect public safety.
The device was positioned in dense grass near the house, where building supplies, water pipes, and a concrete pole had been abandoned. The device was detonated when the ranger team arrived, throwing Sgt Sommai’s body away from the blast location due to the power of the explosion.
Authorities believe the attack was carried out by insurgents who are still active in this southern district. The bombing came after a series of arson assaults in three southern border provinces late Thursday night.
According to Pol Lt Gen Nanthadet Yoinuan, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 9, mobile phone antenna towers of all mobile networks were set ablaze, and an inquiry was underway.
Seven locations in Yala’s Muang, Raman, and Than To districts were hit, as were twelve in Pattani’s Muang, Nong Chik, Sai Buri, and Yarang districts, and four in Narathiwat’s Muang, Rueso, and Tak Bai districts.
While mobile phone signals were briefly affected in some of the places, no blackouts were reported.
Banners with the inscription “Democracy is Patani peace” were also hung in the surrounding Songkhla province’s Chana, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi, and Thepha districts.
Yala is a province in southern Thailand that has experienced significant unrest and violence in recent years. The region has been affected by a long-standing separatist insurgency that seeks greater autonomy or independence for the southern provinces of Thailand. The insurgency has led to numerous bombings, shootings, and other violent incidents, causing many deaths and injuries.
The Thai government has been working to address the situation and bring peace to the region, but progress has been slow and challenging. Some of the strategies used by the government include increased security measures, development projects to improve the region’s economy and infrastructure, and efforts to promote dialogue and reconciliation between different groups.
The situation in Yala remains complex, and there is no easy solution to the ongoing unrest. However, efforts are ongoing to address the underlying issues and work towards a peaceful and stable future for the region.
For numerous years, civil strife has raged in Thailand’s deep south. The region is largely Muslim, and the violence originates from long-standing conflicts between the local community and Thailand’s Buddhist-dominated government.
The violence began in 2004 when the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), a separatist rebel group, began targeting government officials, security officers, and civilians. The group is advocating for greater autonomy for Thailand’s southern regions, which they claim have been marginalised and discriminated against by the central government.
The fighting has killed thousands of people and caused a humanitarian crisis in the region. Both the Thai government and the BRN have been accused of human rights violations like as extrajudicial killings, torture, and disappearances.
Attempts to address the problem through conversation and agreements are underway, but progress is slow. There have been some signs of improvement in recent years, such as the development of a peace negotiation process, but the situation remains unpredictable and the war remains simmering.
Overall, civil unrest in Thailand’s deep south is a complicated subject with deep historical, cultural, and political roots. Addressing the local population’s underlying concerns and finding a long-term solution to the conflict would necessitate a broad approach encompassing political, social, and economic measures, as well as efforts to address human rights violations committed by both sides.