Four motorcyclists were wounded Friday when a small bomb blew up in a province of Thailand’s insurgency-wracked Deep South, where suspected insurgents also planted explosives in several areas and attacked a security detachment using rifles and grenade launchers, police said.
The eruption of attacks across Narathiwat occurred two days after a pair of bombs exploded at a beach in nearby Songkhla province, damaging an iconic bronze statue of a mermaid but causing no injuries.
On Friday evening, a bomb blast slightly injured four people on motorcycles at a bridge in Narathiwat’s Si Sakhon district, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Dusadee Chusangkij told BenarNews.
“I told all police stations to stay alert to prevent more attacks,” Dusadee said. “I believe the attackers are insurgents active in the areas.”
In Ra-ngae district, about 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Si Sakhon, security forces traded gunfire with suspected insurgents who opened fire at a defense outpost at a small village, Dusadee said.
The attackers used rifles and M-79 grenade launchers, but there were no reports of casualties from both sides, he said.
“They exchanged fires with rifles and M-79 grenade launcher for about a half hour,” Dusadee said. “The attackers finally retreated into the darkness.”
No insurgent group had claimed responsibility for the attacks, he said.
Police also recovered six small bombs attached to lamp posts or randomly planted on the sides of streets in Chanae and Tak Bai districts, he said, without providing details.
Almost 7,000 people have been killed since 2004 in violence related to the insurgency in the Buddhist-majority nation’s so-called Deep South, a predominantly Muslim and Malay-speaking region. The troubled region encompasses the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla.
At least 10 officials, including members of security forces, have been killed since October in attacks blamed on insurgents, Col. Tanawee Suwannarat, the deputy spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4, told BenarNews.