Six soldiers killed, four injured in Pattani

Pieces of the wreckage of the vehicle carrying 10 patrol soldiers after it hit an underground bomb in Thung Yang Daeng district, Pattani province, on Monday. (Photo from @FM91trafficpro)

PATTANI - A bomb exploded on a road in Thung Yang Daeng district, killing six soldiers and injuring four others, two seriously, shortly before noon on Monday.

While a pickup truck carrying 10 army soldiers was on a road in tambon Pru Thung Nam Dam, an underground bomb went off, completely destroying it.

The dead victims were SM1 Somprat Sriracha, Pvt Adisak Ritthidet, Pvt Veerabhum Boobbha, Pvt Apichart Hoikaew, Pvt Kittipong Bornaa and Pvt Jessada Roongwong.

Those injured were Cpl Nossarin Ung-hok, Pvt Jae Ameen Hayibula, Sgt Wuttipong Ruangphut and Pvt Wuttichai Na Pattalung. They were taken to the district hospital before being transferred to Pattani Hospital.

A combined force of soldiers, police and administration officials checked the scene in the afternoon.

They found pieces of the black Isuzu pickup truck within a 50m radius of the explosion. The impact created a 1.5m-deep and 2m-wide hole on the laterite road with body parts scattered everywhere.

The authorities said it was one of the bloodiest incidents in the southern province.

According to the explosive ordnance police, pieces of 15kg cooking gas cylinders found at the scene indicated the explosive must have been no less than 80kg. It was buried underground and detonated when the vehicle passed, tearing it in two and sending pieces of it several metres from the spot.

The soldiers had been sent to replace another team who had patrolled in woods and hills. The mission aims to put pressure on the insurgents who might have hidden there.

In an interview with a radio station, Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich, the 4th Army commander, ordered an investigation into the bombing.

He said soldiers were not a conflicting party since they were in the area to provide safety for the public.

Col Pramote Promin, chief of public relations division of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 said the bomb had been planted underground in the area frequented by patrol soldiers.

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