BANGKOK, Thailand� The Thai government suspects yesterday's violent incidents in southern Thailand could be perpetrated by members of Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) who do not participate in the current peace talks, facilitated by Malaysia.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan who raised the suspicion on those responsible for the latest round of violence in the volatile region, wants the security forces to hunt down all the suspects and arrest them.
"We have to examine the reasons behind the violence, but it could be committed by some members of BRN who are not included in the peace talks," he told the media when met at the Government House here today.
Said to be the largest and most capable armed group in southern Thailand, BRN which has shunned the current peace talks, has been blamed for most of the armed attacks in the southern provinces.
Malaysia has been facilitating the peace talks between representatives of the Thai government and Mara Patani (Patani Consultative Council), an umbrella body representing several groups in southern Thailand.
Kuala Lumpur has also been hosting several rounds of talks between the Thai government and Mara Patani.
In the latest incident two days ago, a group of seven armed men stormed a car showroom in Nathawee, Songkhla and stole seven pick-up trucks, besides taking four of the shop's employees as hostages.
The men rigged three of the stolen trucks with homemade bombs and detonated two of them at a roadside in Nongchik and in front of a police station in Mayo district, Pattani, injuring several security personnel.
The armed men also killed one of the hostages while one of the militants was gunned down by security forces in an encounter in Nongchik.
Prawit, who is also Defence Minister, said the security forces had managed to track down one of the suspects involved in yesterday's incident and arrested him, besides positively identifying four of the perpetrators.
The authorities, he said, were in the process of issuing arrest warrants on four of the identified militants.
He said the Thai government had been in constant contact with Malaysia about the ongoing peace talks, including the possibility of welcoming other groups into the talks.
"All groups must enter the talks, if not the unrest will not end easily," said Prawit, who is also in charge of internal affairs.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK