A defence volunteer wounded in a bomb attack on a roadside bus shelter in Narathiwat has been airlifted to Songkhlanakarin Hospital in Songkhla's Hat Yai district because his condition has worsened.
He was among three soldiers, three defence volunteers and three villagers hit by the bomb on Monday night as a checkpoint was being set up near a three-way junction on the Asian Highway.
Defence volunteer Pairoj Seumae, 33, had his chest and lung punctured by shrapnel. Serious bleeding from the wounds prompted doctors to call for his evacuation by helicopter to the hospital in Hat Yai. His condition was said to be still critical.
The five other team members were reported as stable and recovering at the district hospital, while the three villagers were released.
Also at Songkhlanakarin Hospital, Police Senior Sgt-Major Niyom Suwanmanee, of Yala's Than To district, whose left leg was broken after stepping on a landmine, remained critical. The hospital's blood bank has been calling for public blood donations to help officials and villagers injured in the region's unrest.
Meanwhile, a 5-kilogram bomb placed near a tree stump, aimed at a six-strong security team guarding local teachers, went off yesterday morning but no one was killed or injured, as the blast deflected into a wooded area.
Provincial police chief Police Maj-General Sayan Krasaesaen yesterday warned eight Yala police stations of the insurgents' new tactics, launching a second bomb or gunfire on rescue officials approaching an attack site. He urged officials to plan their tactics before responding to an attack.
Yala deputy police chief Colonel Phumpet Pipatpetphum said many bomb attacks took place at rubber plantations, especially in Than To district, because they were on routes frequently used by officials.
The insurgents also tried to scare rubber tappers away from their work so they could tap the rubber or harvest the crops themselves, he said.
Recently it was found in Than To bomb incidents that insurgents were using makeshift landmines of the kind Chinese-Malaysian bandits had adopted in the past, he said. Security officials were formulating a plan to protect rubber tappers in Than To and hunt down their attackers, he said.
-The Nation/Asia News Network