Blast kills child at Pattani ice cream shop

March 23, 2013
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PATTANI, Thailand – A 9-year-old boy was killed and 18 people were wounded by a bomb that exploded Thursday (March 21st) outside an ice cream shop in downtown Pattani, local media reported.

Investigators say the 5kg bomb was hidden in a motorcycle parked in front of the shop and was detonated by remote control. The child was buying ice cream at the time with his mother, who was among those wounded, according to The Bangkok Post.

Pattani Governor Pramuk Lamul told the media, "They are all innocent people. I beg the assailants to stop harming the people." He added that surveillance video may help identify those responsible.

The blast occurred exactly one week before talks are scheduled to begin between the Thai government and rebel group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN).

National Security Council Secretary-General Paradorn Pattanatabut said the bombing could be the work of insurgent members who disagree with the peace talks or those who want to be included in the negotiation process. He said the public should not expect the violence to end as soon as talks begin.

"There is nothing unusual about violent attacks during the negotiation process. This happens in many places when conflicting parties initiate peace talks. The bomb attack will not derail the talks."

Separately, Defence Minister ACM Sukampol Suwannathat told The Nation, "Those who have come to the negotiation table wish to see peace, but it's too early to predict the negotiation results."


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