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Malaysia ‘not involved’ in South…rightly, oppressed Muslims were

In the far South on Aug 31, 2012, Thai flags were burned and Malaysian flags hoisted by suspected insurgents to mark the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Bersatu separatist movement and Malaysia’s National Day. (Photo by Abdulloh Benjakat)

Bangkokpost, 3 September 2012Malaysia is not involved with the planting of Malaysian flags in the deep South, Malaysian ambassador to Thailand Nazirah Hussain said on Monday.”We have yet to get a full report about the incidents. But really this has nothing to do with the Malaysian authorities,” Ms Nazirah said.

The ambassador said the incidents would not affect relations between the two countries, adding Thai authorities understood Malaysia’s position.

In the far South on Aug 31, 2012, Thai flags were burned and Malaysian flags hoisted by suspected insurgents to mark the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Bersatu separatist movement and Malaysia’s National Day. (Photo by Abdulloh Benjakat)

The two neighbours shared not only a border, but also culture and religions, she said.

“Our border trade is also important, so conflicts do no good to anyone. Thus, we cannot be complacent but need to cooperate further together (with Thailand),” the envoy said.

She insisted on Malaysia’s support for Thailand in solving the southern violence through education and economic cooperation.

In Narathiwat, five soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously, by a bomb explosion in Tak Bai district on Monday afternoon.

Police said the attack occurred about 12.30pm when a pickup truck carrying five soldiers on patrol was hit by a bomb buried at one end of a bridge on the road through Ban Pakhado in tambon Na Nak.

The bomb was remotely detonated by a mobile phone by militants hiding nearby when the vehicle was passing over the bridge.

Seriously wounded were Pvt Phumsiri Chantharat, 22, and Pvt Damrongrit Hemphukhieo, 22. Both sustained serious wounds to their bodies. Also wounded were Mst-Sgt Niran Jaipaen, 30, Sgt Thirapol Jina, 27, and Sgt Prajak Prapanmit, 28. They were rushed to Narathiwat Hospital.

The pickup truck was badly damaged.

In Narathiwat’s Sungai Padi district on Monday morning, two suspicious objects were found, placed with the intention of creating havoc in the area.

Sungai Padi police chief Peerapol na Phatthalung said one was found to be a fake bomb and the other a real one, which was then destroyed.

Pol Col Peerapol said the two objects were found at about 10am by a local railway protection team.

The first was found on the bridge near Ban Joh Wa in tambon Sungai Padi, about 500m from the base of Border Patrol Police Company 447, and the second at kilometre marker 1125 on a railway bridge, about 300m from Toh Deng railway station in tambon Toh Deng.

Forensic and bomb disposal police were dispatched to the two spots.

A cardboard box with electric wires protruding from it was found at the first spot. After jamming the telephone signal, bomb disposal police examined the box and and found it was a fake bomb.

At the second spot, the police found the object was a real bomb, weighing about 1.5 kilogramme, stuffed in a milk can. It was later destroyed.

Over 5,000 people have been killed and more than 9,000 hurt in more than 11,000 incidents, or about 3.5 a day, in the three southern border provinces and the four districts of Songkhla since the violence erupted afresh in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch.

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