At least 15 people, including a police officer and many village defense volunteers were killed in Thailand’s Muslim-majority south province of Yala by suspected separatist insurgents in the worst single attack in years in the region.
The attackers also used explosives and scattered nails on roads to delay pursuers on the roads. A small explosive was found placed near an electrical pole to knock out power. At least two other outposts in the area were also reportedly attacked, but there were no casualties. Three rescue vehicles were damaged and several guns were taken by the attackers.There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Thailand has linked the bombs to southern insurgents and said the devices used were similar to those found in the south. Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate before Thailand annexed them in 1909.
Police Colonel Thaweesak Thongsongsi, a superintendent in a police station in Yala province, said an unknown number of assailants used heavy weapons in the attack late on Tuesday night. Rebels seeking autonomy for the culturally distinct region bordering Malaysia have been fighting the Buddhist-majority Thai state, which colonised the area over a century ago. Some rebel groups in the south have said they are fighting to establish an independent state.