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South Thailand blast kills boy, injures several others
Publication Date : 22-03-2013
A motorcycle bomb exploded in Pattani, south Thailand yesterday, killing a nine-year-old boy and injuring 12 others just days ahead of the official first round of peace talks between the National Security Council and the BRN-Coordinate.
The negotiations will start on Monday.
Police believed the blast in the heart of Pattani town was staged to fan unrest in the deep south.
Nisoplian Nisani, 9, died immediately, while his mother Waeleemag Jehloh, was among the injured. Most victims are now being treated at the Pattani Hospital.
Pattani governor Pramuk Lamun expressed his condolences to the victims' families and convened an urgent meeting with security officials.
"We will examine recordings from security cameras and will nail down the culprits," he said.
About five kilograms of explosives were stuffed inside the motorcycle, according to police. The vehicle was parked in front of a bakery shop in a flea-market before the explosives were triggered at around 1:40pm yesterday.
Apart from casualties, the blast damaged seven motorcycles and three cars. It also shattered the windows and doors of many buildings nearby, including Pattani Probation Office and a local police cooperative.
Defence Minister ACM Sukampol Suwannathat said yesterday that the peace talks could take time but it was designed to create peace for the South border provinces.
An ongoing wave of violence has plagued Thailand's deep South for about a decade already.
"Those who have come to the negotiation table wish to see peace, but it's too early to predict the negotiation results," Sukampol said.
He said relevant parties must let the peace talks run its course before concluding on the results. He also tried to dismiss concerns that relevant authorities might agree to a separatist deal.