Car-bomb exploded in Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok

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The owner and his family scrambled on to the roof for safety and had to be rescued after a car-bomb exploded, setting fire to a computer company’s premises and nearby buildings in Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok on Friday morning.

Eight people were injured by the explosion, including innocent residents go to and returning from a nearby fresh food market, said Pol Lt Sakkapong Kerdpol, duty officer at Sungai Kolok police station.

Firefighters took more than three hours to bring the blaze under control. A hoist was finally brought in to rescue the owner and three other members of his family from the building’s deck-roof.

Police investigators examined the wrecked pickup truck, which had a bogus licence plate, SY6602 Bangkok. Pol Lt Sakkapong said a 50-kilogramme improvised bomb had been hidden inside it and detonated by radio signal.

Investigators concluded that militants parked the pickup truck in front of the company premises about 6am. As a police patrol car later went past the spot, the bomb was detonated.

The police travelling in the patrol car were not hurt, but the company’s owner and three family members, and four passing residents returning from a nearby fresh market, were injured in the explosion.

The eight injured victims were all taken to Sungai Kolok hospital.

Police were viewing footage from close-circuit television cameras installed in the area and hoping to hunt down the bombers.

A separatist movement group in the far South had earlier distributed leaflets stating that it would carry out major attacks against state authorities ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began in the far South today.

In Yala, more stringent security measures were immediately introduced in and around the municipality in the wake of the Singsai Kolok bombing.

Soldiers of Yala 11 special task force set up a security checkpoint on the Tao Poon-Tha Sab road in tambon Tha Sab of Yala’s Muang district. They were checking all motorcycles and vehicles heading in to Yala municipality.

Police, soldiers and territory volunteers also set up security checkpoints on main inbound roads to Yala.

Col Pramote Prom-in, deputy spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command, Region 4 office, called on Thai-Muslim people to condemn the car bombers who attacked Sungai Kolok this morning.

“Today is the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. This is the holy month for Muslims and there should be no violence during this period. Unfortunately, the separatist militants just ignored it,” said Col Pramote.

He said Army Region 4 commander Lt Gen Udomchai Thammasarorath, ordered all military units in the deep South to beef up security measures to deter any further attacks by militants. – Bangkok Post