Militants attack more state officials than civilians in Thailand’s South


BANGKOK, Sept 20 – Southern militants continue their violent activities and attacks targeting state officials in Thailand’s Muslim-predominant southern provinces, a Defence Ministry spokesman said today.

In a regular press conference on situation in southern provinces with senior officials from related military agencies, Surachart Chitchaeng, spokesman for the Defence Minister’s Office, said the authorities’ offensive operations in the southern region have prompted militants to retaliate and carry on their insurgency.

They aimed to attack state officials rather than civilians while the South has also been plagued with other unlawful activities, he said.

Banpote Poonpian, Internal Security Operations Command spokesman, said 8,065 persons were arrested in the first three months of this year in connection with drug trafficking, 152 for oil smuggling, 83 for trespassing in national forests, and 13 others for offences involving drugs, theft and receiving stolen property.

Between October last year and July this year, the authorities seized the assets of 28 persons, worth nearly Bt500,000, and continued their manhunt for 16 suspects, mostly from the Middle East, on charges of giving financial support to terrorism.