The army has blamed Wednesday’s attack on a marine police station in Narathiwat on people involved in smuggling, drugs and human trafficking who have been affected by serious crackdowns.
Lt Gen Kriangkrai Srirak, chief of the 4th Army responsible for the South, made the comment after inspecting the scene of the attack in Tak Bai district on Friday.
The incident was related to many proactive moves to enforce laws and suppress illicit drugs,” he said. “Authorities have arrested drug traffickers, seized their assets and searched warehouses for smuggled goods.”
Lt Gen Kriangkrai said there was evidence to link the attack to affected vested interests in the region. He assured that law enforcement would be intensified as the investigation continued to identify the attackers in Tak Bai.
A private and two defence volunteers were injured in the attack at the Tak Bai marine police station on Wednesday night.
Armed militants used pipe bombs and automatic guns and also toppled power poles with bombs and scattered spikes on the road to the marine police station to block authorities from deploying reinforcements to the scene.
Lt Gen Kriangkrai said that despite the incident, peace negotiations in the deep South would continue.
The Tak Bai incident was raised for discussion during a meeting of the Thai-Malaysian General Border Committee (GBC) in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said.
Malaysia was also helping with the investigation into who was behind the attack, Gen Prawit said.
A team led by 4th Army chief Lt Gen Kriangkrai Srirak inspects damage at the Tak Bai marine police station in Tak Bai district of Narathiwat on Friday. (Photo: Abdullah Benjakat)