In the tranquil pre-dawn hours, the serenity of Tak Bai, a southern border territory of Narathiwat, was shattered by suspected insurgents. Assaults coordinated with haunting precision unfolded, echoing through the quiet district, forever etching this day in the annals of history. According to the police, a makeshift bomb concealed within a fire extinguisher’s shell, a common vestige of domesticity turned deadly weapon in this instance, wreaked havoc on a local gold shop’s facade in Chehe, a tambon nestled within the district.
Pol Lt Col Jarukit Sridech, the acting chief of the Tak Bai station who was roused from his sleep at 1.30am by the distress call, confirmed that the explosion’s devastating effects were isolated to property alone – a fortunate outcome in an otherwise gut-wrenching episode. An as-yet-identified group of gunmen took advantage of the ensuing chaos, directing gunfire towards a nearby security checkpoint, distance barely fifty meters from the tarnished gold shop.
This violent action instigated a fierce gunfight that raged for well over half an hour. A total of seven brave officers, who were meritoriously performing their duty at the security post, retaliated against the firestorm. The truculent attackers, after exchanging constant fire, were forced to retreat into the shroud of the neighbouring forest as backup arrived at the scene. The aftermath of this volatile episode revealed that the valiant battle resulted in minor injuries to four police members.
A disturbing twist soon emerged with a report of a roadside bombing severely damaging a power pole, approximately 200 meters from the aforementioned checkpoint. A chilling discovery was made upon finding a secondary explosive rigged beneath another pole on the opposite side of the road. Local denizens, more observant than ever, soon alerted the police to another pair of improvised bombs, strategically placed along a prestigious route within Chehe. An immediate evacuation and subsequent blockade of the region were promptly executed by the authorities.
As the day progressed, yet another bomb erupted at the roadside in Khosit, another Tak Bai tambon. This violent intrusion resulted in ten power poles succumbing to the impact, temporarily obstructing the traffic flow. In the meantime, in Sungai Kolok district’s tambon Muno, acting chief Muno police chief Pol Col Direk Chomyong faced dual incidents – the detonation of a homemade bomb damaging another serene village’s power pole, and the discovery of another explosive device concealed within another fire extinguisher, ominously hidden beneath another power pole.
The orchestrators of these nefarious acts, according to observations, seem to have tailored this explosive symphony to coincide with the impending memory of the 19th anniversary of the tragic Tak Bai massacre in 2004. However, the unwavering spirit of the people shines, turning murky fear into solid resilience, proving once again that peace, not chaos, is the true victory.