Four soldiers wounded in follow-on insurgent incidents in Narathiwat


NARATHIWAT, July 29 – Insurgents fired at least one grenade and set off several bombs in follow-on incidents in this southern border province Friday, leaving four Thai army soldiers wounded.

After an M79 grenade fell into Cho Ai Rong military base at 4am today, a four-man patrol investigating the incident was ambushed by insurgents using a remotely-detonated bomb.

Capt Narucha Boontam and three soldiers from Narathiwat Task Force 31 approached Ban Cho Kho village, where a bomb blast damaged their vehicle, but there were no casualties.

A six-man patrol coming to investigate the first booby trap was ambushed in a second bombing with a remotely-detonated device, which wounded four soldiers.

Maj Samatchai Pleangsai and five men from Narathiwat’s Ratchanakarin army camp arrived later when a 20kg roadside bomb was detonated as their vehicle passed Ban Paraelbo-Ban Kuerong Road in Cho Ai Rong.

The powerful blast wounded four soldiers, including Maj Samatchai, throwing the military vehicle into a roadside ditch.

The casualties are all hospitalised at Cho Ai Rong Hospital.

In a follow-on incident, a third explosion took place about 12 noon as investigators inspected the site where Maj Samatchai’s squad was assaulted earlier.

The five-kg homemade roadside bomb 200 metres from the second incident site was triggered by cellphone, but no one was injured.

The series of bomb attacks on Friday occurred in Narathiwat’s Cho Ai Rong, one day after the rail track bombing in Rangae district.

Violence has intensified on an almost daily basis in Thailand’s far South, following a string of bomb and gun attacks since the insurgency erupted in 2004. So far, the violence claimed more than 4,300 lives of residents and officials.