Malaysia to Help Resolve Bombings in Thai South

Kuala Lumpur, 14 Dzulqa’dah 1437/17 August 2016  (MINA)  – Malaysia has expressed its commitment to assisting Thailand’s government in finding the “criminals” behind a series of explosions that left four people dead in the Thai south last week.

Jailani Johari, Malaysian deputy communications and multimedia minister, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that Prime Minister Najib Razak had pledged to help the government of the neighboring country over a telephone conversation last week.

“We will assist. That is the Prime Minister’s pledge and we will follow,” Johari said in a telephone conversation.

He underlined that Malaysia could utilize its expertise in tackling terrorism within the country, to share knowledge with and provide assistance to Thai authorities.

He confirmed that Thai authorities have contacted their Malaysian counterparts for assistance in investigations after 13 bombs exploded in four tourist provinces in the upper part of Thailand’s southern peninsula, killing four people and injuring 35 last Thursday and Friday.

The explosions took place in what Thai people call the “Buddhist south”, in opposition to the “Muslim south” — an area hundreds of kilometers (miles) further south near the Malaysian border that has been wracked by a decades-old insurgency.

Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, told reporters Monday that the government would ask for its southern neighbor’s help after it was revealed that one of the phones used in the bomb attacks was bought in Malaysia.

On Tuesday, Police Gen. Srivara Ransibrahmanakul told reporters that police are seeking the arrest of a suspect they say is part of a network that carried out the attacks. He said they forwarded the warrant request after finding the DNA of a known insurgent on a diffused bomb.

The warrant is the second issued in connection with the wave of attacks, after an oil rig worker from northern Chiang Mai province was arrested Sunday, after he was held for an arson attack on a supermarket in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The Thai junta has suggested political opponents were responsible, while police are prioritizing the theory that the attacks were by southern Muslim insurgents operating beyond their traditional powerbases of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)