COPS FOIL AT­TACK BID

Bomb squad de­fuses 100kg explosive de­vice fit­ted to ve­hi­cle

New Straits Times - - News - SONGKHLA (Thai­land)

PO­LICE have foiled an at­tempt to blow up 100kg of ex­plo­sives left in a pick-up truck near a po­lice base in Thepa dis­trict here on Tues­day.

A source from the Royal Thai Po­lice said the ve­hi­cle was found at 10.30am and the bomb squad was called in to carry out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The bomb squad found that the ve­hi­cle was fit­ted with a 100kg explosive de­vice, and suc­cess­fully de­ac­ti­vated it.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that the pick-up truck be­longed to a couple who were kid­napped in the same dis­trict a day ear­lier.

The source said their bod­ies were found, with hands bound, in Thepa River at 10am yes­ter­day.

“The in­ci­dent proves that the con­flict in the three south­ern Thai dis­tricts is get­ting worse.

“It proves that the peo­ple who are be­hind the lat­est in­ci­dent are not only tar­get­ing the au­thor­i­ties, but also civil­ians.”

The source said po­lice had yet to iden­tify the group be­hind the botched at­tempt, but were not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­ity that it could be the work of a separatist group, in par­tic­u­lar, Barisan Revo­lusi Na­sional (BRN).

“There is a pos­si­bil­ity that the thwarted at­tack was the work of a group that is un­happy with the progress of the south­ern Thai­land peace talks tak­ing place in Malaysia.

“Mara Patani, as the leader in the peace talks, should take this in­ci­dent se­ri­ously so that civil­ians are spared from vi­o­lent at­tacks as the sit­u­a­tion gives a bad im­pres­sion of their strug­gle and im­age of Is­lam at large,” he said.

PIX COUR­TESY OF NST READER

Two gas cylin­ders were among the items found in a pick-up truck near a po­lice base in Thepa dis­trict in Thai­land yes­ter­day. (Inset) Some of the ex­plo­sives.

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