Deep South insurgent group claims responsibility for rocket attack

One of the insurgent groups in Thailand’s Deep South has warned people to stay away from military bases, saying that it has fired rockets into them.

On Friday, 29 January 2016, Patani United Liberation Front (PULO), an insurgent group in Thailand’s restive Deep South, announced through its website Puloinfo that the group has attacked military bases in Pattani and Narathiwat Province with rockets.

The group claimed that the operation was carried out by the Pak Wae Group under the leadership of Asyahid Muzzafar of ‘NUMPAR PULO’, a local militant branch of PULO, on 22 January 2016, the 48th anniversary of the organisation.

The announcement, written in Malay, reads “from now on, PULO would like to warn Patani people residing in areas adjacent to military bases to stay away from these areas. Otherwise, PULO will not be responsible for what might happen if people suffer injury or loss of life.”

Unlike Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), the most active insurgent group in the Deep South, PULO has been maintaining a low profile in the region and it is rare for the organisation to claim responsibility for attacks.

The announcement on the attack was also posted on the Facebook profile of Kasturi Mahkota, the President of PULO, who is a member of MARA Patani, a coalition of Deep South insurgent groups currently engaged in peace talks with the Thai state authorities.

Last Thursday, the police examined an area in Bo Thong Subdistrict of Nong Chik District in Pattani after an explosive device was found.

The police discovered a pipe bomb made into the shape of a rocket with a NUMPAR Army sticker attached to it and a radio device. The bomb was placed by the side of a road in the district.

The police so far have not completed the investigation of the explosive and have not made any official announcement.