BANGKOK, Thailand -- Despite a truce reached ahead of Ramadan, analysts say militants in Deep South provinces are stepping up attacks by targeting businesses large and small, in an apparent bid to disrupt economic life in the area.
Fires were set at 12 locations in Pattani, Yala and Songkhla provinces in what appeared to be co-ordinated arson attacks before sunrise Friday (August 2nd), most of them at shops or factories, The Bangkok Post reported.
"They were aimed at destroying the economy in those areas,'' Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher on Thailand at Human Rights Watch, told The Post.
Targets included rubber and plastics factories, a cement drainage pipe factory, mobile phone signal posts, a minimart, a motorcycle shop, furniture shops, a grocery and homes of local residents, according to MCOT Online.
Meanwhile, suspected insurgents continued attacking security personnel charged with protecting local teachers.
In Yala, a roadside bomb killed the chief of a ranger unit patrolling on foot in Yaha district. Seven other soldiers were injured, The Nation reported. The soldiers were checking the road to ensure the safety of teachers who would be using it.
A separate blast injured an army conscript who was on his break Friday morning after accompanying a group of teachers to school in Pattani's Kapho district.