BANGKOK, Nov 6 – Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha has instructed the security forces to beef up security and hunt down perpetrators of the attacks that killed 15 people in Yala Province in southern Thailand yesterday.
Condemning the attacks, Prayuth, who is also Defence Minister, said the attackers targeted security checkpoints to put pressure on the ongoing peace talks in southern Thailand.
He urged security forces in the south, especially in remote areas, to beef up security and be on high alert as they could be a soft target for the attackers.
“They (attackers) chose to attack a soft target to put pressure to get an upper hand on the ongoing peace negotiations. Police are hunting for the attackers to bring them to face justice,” he told the media after chairing the weekly cabinet meeting here today.
Prayuth also expressed condolences to family members of those killed.
He instructed the Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC) Region 4 to provide assistance to the victims and their family members.
In the incident at 10.15pm (11.15pm in Malaysia) yesterday, an armed group of about 20 people attacked two security posts located at Kampung Thung Sadao and Kampung Thanglum in Lampaya, killing 15 people and injuring four others.
Those killed were six defence volunteers, three assistant village chiefs, a doctor and five members of the public. The attackers took with them eight firearms.
So far about 7,000 people have been killed in the conflict in four regions in southern Thailand — Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Songkhla.
Over the past several years, Mara Patani has held negotiations with the Thai government to find a peaceful solution to the conflict which has dragged on since 2004.
Malaysia has been facilitating the southern Thai peace talks between Bangkok and Mara Patani. Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Gen Wanlop Rugsanaoh is the new head for the southern Thai peace talks, effective Oct 1. — Bernama