Rangers seize militant mountain camp (pix)

NARATHIWAT — Military rangers on Monday said they had overrun an operations base belonging to Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) separatists, seizing materials that could have been used to make at least 30 homemade bombs.

Members of the 45th Ranger Regiment clashed with a group of RKK militants on Sunday afternoon and later seized their mountain camp on Tawe Mountain in Rangae district. The camp was made up of 11 huts, one of which contained a military sand table believed to be used for planning attacks.

According to intelligence reports, the camp was being used as a meeting place by key insurgency leaders active in Rangae, Chanae and Cho Airong districts of Narathiwat.

Officers searched the base and confiscated more than 100 bomb parts. 

Col Rungroj Anantato, commander of the 45th army ranger regiment, said bomb and forensic experts examined the seized items at the makeshift camp on Monday morning. They concluded that the site was being used to produce improvised explosive devices for terrorist activities in the deep South and that the materials collected could produce at least 30 bombs. 

Col Rungroj said insurgents at the camp are believed to have been planning to launch attacks in the three southern border provinces on Feb 13, to avenge the death of 16 militants killed in a failed attack on a marine base in Narathiwat's Bacho district on the same day last year. 

The slain militants included key insurgency suspect Maroso Chantrawadee. 

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