Car-bomb plot foiled in Thailand [PHOTOS]

Car-bomb plot foiled in Thailand [PHOTOS]Car-bomb plot foiled in Thailand [PHOTOS]

Seven separatist insurgents on August 16, swooped on a second-hand car dealer in one of the conflict-affected districts of the far South, Thailand to steal six vehicles, which they used as car bombs on the very same day. Each of the six vehicles stolen from the dealer was driven by one suspect.

The first vehicle, a Toyota Vigo, was packed with explosives and set off on a Highway 418 in the vicinity of Pattani’s Nong Chik district, targeting a moving military vehicle.

Four soldiers from a medical unit suffered minor injures. The second vehicle, a Mitsubish Triton, ran out of petrol and was abandoned in Songkhla’s Thepa district, not far from the original crime scene, while the third pickup truck, an Isuzu Dmax, was abandoned in Pattani’s Tambon Klong Maning.

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The fourth vehicle, a Dmax, was abandoned in a rubber plantation in Pattani’s Khok Pho district and the fifth, also an Isuzu Dmax, packed with a home-made bomb, crashed through a security checkpoint. But the vehicle was eventually hunted down and the suspected insurgent killed in a gunfight with the police in Nong Chik.

The sixth vehicle, an Isuzu Cab, was used as a car bomb in an attack on police homes in Pattani’s Mayo district. The seventh vehicle, a Mazda, was also and was left abandoned in Tambon Chanae in Songkhla’s Sabayoi district, with three gallons of petrol inside. It was this vehicle that transported the four from the auto dealer to a nearby wooded area where they were supposed to be executed. The first victim was shot in the head and later died in hospital. The second survived a shot to the shoulder while the other two wrestled their way out and succeeded in escaping from the gunman. In the end, only two of the six vehicles were turned into car bombs.

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The rest were abandoned, possibly because of the quick reaction by the authorities, who had been alerted to the robbery by the escaped hostages. Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr blamed the August 16 operation on Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), one of the long- standing separatist movement that controls virtually all the combatants on the ground. He added that security lapses in the far South permitted insurgents to carry out attacks against government troops.

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