Three more bombs found in Narathiwat

A power pole in Bacho district of Narathiwat is damaged by a bomb explosion following a string of attacks that caused widespread blackouts in the three southernmost provinces and part of Songkhla. (Photo by Waedao Harai)

NARATHIWAT: Three more bombs, two of them unexploded, were found attached to high-voltage power poles on Saturday morning following an earlier series of blasts and arson attacks that rocked the insurgency-plagued far South.

A team of explosive ordnance disposal officers rushed to the paddy field in tambon Kayormati in Bacho district after local residents alerted police about the discovery.

The EOD officers found one high-voltage power pole that had been uprooted by a bomb blast. Pieces of metal and explosive materials were scattered around the area. A box containing a clock and wires attached to an electrical circuit was also found.

A box containing materials used for a bomb is found in Bacho, Narathiwat. (Photo by Waedao Harai)

About 200 metres away, the team found two unexploded bombs attached to another power pole. The officers collected fingerprints from the two locations for possible clues to the identity of the bombers.

Authorities on Saturday continued to survey other areas throughout the far South following a string of explosions in the three southernmost provinces and part of Songkhla from late Thursday night to early Friday. No casualties were reported in the bombings that damaged 52 power poles in 19 districts of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla and caused widespread blackouts.

During the same period, suspected insurgents also set fire to car tyres at several locations and laid spikes on roads, authorities said.

In Narathiwat alone, 25 power poles in eight districts were damaged in explosions. The attacks caused widespread blackouts and interrupted internet service.  

Krit Bunsuwan, manager of the Tak Bai office of the Provincial Electricity Authority, on Saturday sent electricians to repair four damaged power poles along the Tak Bai-Sungai Kolok Road. The power supply was expected to return to normal by evening, he said.

In Sungai Kolok district, security has been tightened after 11 power poles were damaged by bomb blasts. 

Pol Col Kong-ard Suwankham, chief of the Sungai Kolok police, and Lt Col Pongkorn Saengkul, commander of the Narathiwat army task force, on Saturday ordered the deployment of officers to set up checkpoints on three main roads leading to Sungai Kolok to beef up security for the annual food festival that opened on Friday and runs until Tuesday.

Explosive ordnance disposal officers examine bombs found in a paddy field in Bacho, Narathiwat. (Photo by Waedao Harai)

One of two unexploded bombs is found attached to a power pole in Bacho district, Narathiwat. (Photo by Waedao Harai)

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