11 July 2024

The Kresek mosque in Pattani, where 32 suspected Muslim insurgents were  killed in a stand-off 14 years ago, continues to receive visitors from Malaysia, the News Straits Times of Malaysia reported.

The mosque’s imam, Zakaria Mat Sin, said Malaysians, especially those from East Coast states like Kelantan and Terengganu, travelled all the way to the area to see bullet holes and other damage left from the attack.

“People from countries like Malaysia and Singapore are still visiting the mosque to see the damage done in the attack,”  the 64-year-old imam was quoted as saying.

“The visitors told us that they pray to God that such incidents will not happen again and that the oldest mosque can be maintained,” he added.

Recalling the incident, Zakaria said he was waiting to perform the Subuh prayer with the 32 men when the attack happened.

“I was waiting outside the mosque when suddenly I heard loud sounds coming from the mosque.

“I saw many soldiers outside and inside the mosque. I only went inside with other villagers when the attack had ended,” he said.

On April 28, 2004, the Thai army surrounded the mosque where it was said 32 Muslim separatists were holed up following a spate of armed attacks in various spots in the province.

After an eight-hour standoff and exchanges of gunfire, the army attacked, killing everyone in the mosque.