Minister urges deployment of security personnel at schools

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BANGKOK, Dec 11 –  Following the killing of two teachers in a Pattani school today, Deputy Prime Minister/Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana conceded that the lack of security personnel in the school compound was a security lapse which led to the latest violence against teachers. 

He asked security agencies to deploy staff in school compounds to ensure safety for teachers.

The latest killing brings the total death toll of teachers in the insurgency-torn region to 157, according to the regional teachers association.

The violence took place as hundreds of government schools in the troubled region reopened today amid tight security after being closed for several days in the wake of recent attacks on teachers.

The victims in the latest and most intrusive fatal attack on teachers to date were identified as deputy school director Somsak Kwanma and Tiyarat Chauykaew, director of Ban Ba Ngo School in Mayo district.

Police investigators said a group of at least five men entered the school, shot the teachers, and then fled in a slain teacher’s pickup truck.

Two teachers were attacked in separate incidents last week in Narathiwat, killing Chatsuda Nilsuwan, 32, of Ban Ta-ngoh School in Cho Airong district and wounding Tirapol Chusongsaeng, 52, of Ban Bokoh School in Su-ngai Padi district.

In another development, the death toll in a tea shop shooting in Narathiwat rose to four after the latest victim succumbed to her injuries. The victim was identified as Nissaba Muso, 25. The four dead include an 11-month-old baby girl.

According to the initial investigation, a pickup truck stopped outside the shop and three armed men fired into the shop before fleeing.

The police believed the attackers were insurgents intending to extend atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the general public.