11 July 2024

Thai police have been trying to locate a woman who was seen driving the pickup truck used as a car bomb yesterday (Tuesday), which passed through a police checkpoint in Lamphu sub-district of Narathiwat’s Mueang district on October 6th.

The vehicle was parked in the compound of a police apartment block in Mueang District. Shortly afterward, the explosive device in the vehicle detonated, killing a police officer and injuring other 36 people, mostly family members of police living in the apartment.

The first and second floors of the apartment building, which housed about 70 families, sustained heavy damage from the force of the explosion. 10 or more motorcycles were also damaged.

Police investigators found the license plate of the pickup truck and traced its records. The vehicle was first registered on March 8th, 2007, in the name of a buyer in Trang Province. It was sold to a used car dealer last year and then resold in Phatthalung province.

The vehicle was last seen on October 5th, being driven by a woman, as it passed through the police checkpoint. Police say they have been trying to locate the women for questioning.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Tipanan Sirichana said today that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of security affairs, has ordered a tightening of security in the Deep South, especially at airports, markets and government buildings, in the wake of the car bombing.

The dead police officer, Pol Cpt Sutthirak Panthaniya, deputy inspector of Mueang district police, will be posthumously promoted to a full police general and his salary increased, according to the national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat.

He said today that, initially, the victim’s family will receive about 3.7 million baht in compensation, adding that temporary shelter will be arranged for the police officers and their families whose apartments were damaged in the blast, while repairs to the building are yet to start.