Cops on alert for motorcycle bomb attacks

  • AseanPlus News
  • Thursday, 08 Apr 2004

MOVING ALONG: A Thai Muslim woman riding past a police officer in Pattani province in southern Thailand on Wednesday. - APpic

BANGKOK: Police are warning that Muslim separatists in Thailand's south have prepared five motorcycle bombs for attacks during the Thai New Year holiday next week, according to a police advisory. 

The regional police commander distributed the advisory to police stations, asking them to look out for unclaimed Honda motorcycles parked near soft targets such as hotels, shops and other public places. 

“There are five motorcycles (Honda Waves) that have already been planted with bombs and are ready to set off at the targets,” said the notice, citing police intelligence. 

A motorcycle bomb exploded outside a bar in Sungai Golok, a town on the Thai-Malaysia border, on March 27, injuring at least 29 people. 

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is scheduled to meet with his Malaysian counterpart Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Kuala Lumpur on Monday to appeal for help in stamping out the violence. 

Thailand claims that the Sungai Golok bombers fled to Malaysia and that Malaysian villagers were known to harbour Thai militants who hold dual Malaysian-Thai citizenship. Malaysian officials called the charges unfounded. 

Fears of a major terrorist attack during the Songkran New Year holiday were heightened after the theft of about 1.4 tons of ammonium nitrate and 174 sticks of dynamites from a quarry in the southern province of Yala on March 30. Ammonium nitrate can be use to make bombs. 

The three-day festival starts on Tuesday, and is Thailand's biggest holiday. 

The predominantly Muslim provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani in southern Thailand have been hit by a wave of drive-by shootings and sporadic bomb blasts this year. – AP  

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