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On Wednesday 25 July 2012 at 15.00, a bomb exploded on the road between Ban Upao and Ban Pakasamae, Moo 7, Tambon Wangphya, Raman District, Yala. The bloody trap was installed in a car parked by the road, and it was triggered when a blue-grey Mazda pickup truck with license plate no. BJ3454 Yala carrying police officers drove by. As a result, the vehicle was blasted and shoved to the roadside waterway causing five deaths among the police officers including (1) First Lt. Sutham Onthong, (2) Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wae U Seng Waedeng, (3) Sgt. Nutthapong Boonkomol, (4) Sgt. Prasert Rodkul and (5) Sgt. Wichanon Namphakdi, and one injury. All of them are police officers of Tha Thong Police Station, Raman District, Yala.

Prior to this, on 20 July 2012, bombs exploded in business neighborhood of Sungai Kolok Disitrct, Narathiwat causing eight injuries. It indicated ongoing escalation of unrest in the Southern Border Provinces. According to Issara News Agency, Hotline Center of the Forward Internal Security Operations Command Region (ISOC Region 4) reported 78 insurgencies in the month of June 2012, the highest of which since November 2011, or the highest in eight months in a row. Increased statistics of violence affirms and indicates the nature of security and efficiency in providing measures to ensure safety of lives and properties among people.

The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) would like to offer our deepest condolences for the loss of lives among all officers working in the Southern Border Provinces and people who have been affected by the unrest.

We urge that no support be given to harbor violence or to appreciate any losses regardless if they are caused by any parties, and regardless if the news has been broadcast via internet media or others.

Disarmament is a key solution to bring down the level of violence in the area. We call on the government to move seriously toward disarming both legal and illegal firearms. It will ensure that fewer people shall be killed by armed violence. Also, increased armament and militarization will simply bring about mutual mistrust.

In addition, widespread availability of small arms still becomes a major cause giving rise to daily attempts on people’s lives. Among the targets of the armed attacks include those who have been acquitted from security related charges or those who have reported themselves to the authorities to prove their innocence. Relentless ambush and mass killing with no specific purposes has led to fear and a lack of trust in the state’s policy. For example, Mr. Abduloh Jaeteemae was shot dead on 26 July 2012. CrCF urges that the Royal Thai Police makes their effort in earnest immediately to monitor and control as well as to work toward disarmament of both legal and illegal firearms in order to minimize the loss of lives and properties as well as to bring to justice promptly and considerately the offenders.

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