Ten people, including three defence volunteers, were injured yesterday in a motorcycle bomb attack at Pattani's Khok Pho Hospital, while a subsequent fire damaged dozens of motorcycle parked nearby.
The hospital's director said this was the restive region's first attack on a hospital compound, while police suspect insurgency sympathisers carried out the 9.30am bombing in the hospital's parking lot for motorcycles.
After firefighters managed to put out the fire in 30 minutes, Pattani police chief Pol Maj-General Phothi Suaysuwan led a forensic and bomb disposal police team to inspect the scene and collect evidence.
He said the 10-kilogram bomb was hidden in a Honda Wave motorbike that had been reported stolen from Nong Chik district on January 20.
Police believe the bomb was aimed at some defence volunteers stationed at a roadside pavilion 10 metres from the parking lot. The three wounded defence volunteers were identified as Rohimee Binpa, Muhammad Kade and Sulkifi Mohsu.
"I've been in the region for 25 years, and this is the first time that a hospital has been bombed," hospital director Dr Udomkiat Pulsawat said. "I'm very puzzled because according to international rules, nobody is allowed to bomb a hospital."