School Bomb Injures Four in Thai Deep South

By The Associated Press 25 September 2012

PATTANI, Thailand—Suspected Muslim insurgents have detonated a small bomb at a school in Thailand’s violence-prone south, wounding two principals and two soldiers.

Police Lt Thammanoon Klaewthanong says the improvised explosive device went off on Monday at a shelter at the entrance of a public school in Narathiwat province’s Bacho district.

The school was holding a meeting of school directors from surrounding villages when the attack occurred.

Thammanoon says the remote-controlled bomb was hidden in a paint bucket under an outdoor marble table set where the two principals and two soldiers were sitting. The injured were sent to a district hospital to treat minor wounds from the explosion.

On Friday, a car bomb killed six people in Pattani Province’s Sai Buri District after businesses received warnings against opening on the Muslim holy day.

The suspects opened fire on a gold shop, hurting no one and fleeing, Police Col Asis U-mayee said. When security forces arrived at the scene, a bomb hidden in a gas canister in a nearby pickup truck went off, he said.

A border patrol volunteer, an administrative official and four civilians were killed. Twelve police officers were among the 44 people wounded. Security officials said the pickup truck containing the bomb had been stolen in a Sept. 7 attack in which three women were killed.

Friday’s explosion set fire to buildings on both sides of the road in the town’s commercial area, damaging rows of wooden shop houses.

Authorities said insurgents had distributed flyers in the past two weeks to warn local traders against operating their businesses on Fridays.

The attack came after a recent high-profile surrender of nearly 100 Muslim militants to the Thai authorities.

Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are the only Muslim-dominated provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the region since an Islamist insurgency erupted in 2004.