Bombers linked to slain separatist fighter: officials
Suspected insurgents who carried out a roadside bomb attack that killed nine villagers in Yala on Monday have links to Mahama Mara, a high-profile suspect killed two years ago, security officials say.
One of the suspects, Saudi Satapor, 30, is a leading insurgent already wanted on four arrest warrants, officials said. He is believed to have carried out terror attacks in Katong and Baroh subdistricts in Yaha district, and to operate under the direct command of Hubai Delah Rohmueli, a high-profile insurgent commander on the run.
Saudi was close to Mahama Mara, a senior Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) commander killed two years ago in a gunfight in Kabang district. Mahama was behind frequent terror attacks and the murders of many people, including the notorious hijacking of a passenger van and killing of all eight occupants in March 2007, the officials said.
One senior police commander, Colonel Phoomphet Phiphatphetphoom, said he suspected Monday's roadside bomb attack was specifically aimed at this group of villagers. The groups were poachers who had fought with local insurgents in gunfights before, he said.
The bombing could have been a revenge attack. The poachers may have been the people who tipped off security officials about the whereabouts of Mahama, leading to his death in a gunfight two years ago, Phoomphet said.
Sakchai Siriphan, a teacher and the only survivor of the roadside blast, said it was a different group who had fought with the insurgents. He said the people hit by the blast were ordinary villagers, many of whom were his friends
The Yala provincial authorities called on villagers or poachers who planned to go to the jungle to hunt or forage to contact security officials to arrange protection.
Police yesterday raided a house, arresting two men identified as Sufwan Sahleh and Karim Bueraheng. The pair was allegedly in possession of a roadside bomb that was ready to use.
The house is located three kilometres from the base of the 1521st Infantry Company, which was attacked last week in a raid that killed four soldiers.
The pair are being questioned to determine whether they were involved in that attack.
In a separate incident yesterday, a civil defence volunteer was shot with a handgun in an attack by two men on a motorcycle. The victim took three bullets in the leg and stomach and is in critical condition.
Sakchai Siriphan and his friends.
Who carried out a roadside bomb attack that killed nine villagers.
Who bomb attack was specifically aimed at this group of villagers because the groups were poachers who had fought with local insurgents in gunfights before.
By The Nation
Published on January 27, 2011