Thursday, March 8, 2007

Violence Greets General Sonthi in the South

Violence meets army chief

The Nation

Yala - Army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin arrived in the Deep South Thursday to check on the troops but was greeted with more violence, arson attacks and protests from villagers who accuse security forces of carrying out target killings.

In Tambon Sathengnok of Yala's Muang district, gunmen charged into the residence of Jirasak Kumachan, 19, and riddled his body with bullets. He died at the scene.

In Tambon Yupoe of Yala's Muang district, gunmen attacked a couple on their way back from a local market, killing the wife, Malee Songkoew, 41, while her husband, Pleung Taptipthong, 50, survived the attack and is being treated in the local hospital.

On late Wednesday evening in Tambon Tanaoputeh of Yala's Banangsta district, Hasan Museng, 28, suffered gunshot wounds while riding home.

The same evening also saw an arson attack on a local school in Tambon Parehnua in Narathiwat's Bacho district. Arsonists set fire to the school's second floor and damaged a portion of the buildings. Villagers quickly came together to help put out the fire before it spread to other facilities, police said

"I am not sure if the people who beheaded that man practise any faith or religion at all, because if they were religious, they could not do a thing like this," he told reporters.

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