SEVEN policemen and three civilians were wounded in a car-bomb attack near a Border Patrol Police base in Tambon Rusamilae of Pattani’s Muang district yesterday.

A Honda Jazz used in the attack was stolen from Tambon Taluboh in the same distict, with the vehicle’s owner Somsak Dussadeepiriya, 51, shot twice and left seriously wounded.

The bombing occurred at about 12.30pm near the base, the Pattani Concrete Co office and a restaurant.

The wounded police officers were identified as Lance Corporal Surasak Sangnuan; Corporal Pokpong Chumkham; Corporal Mongkolchai Noonkliang; Corporal Suradech Sapsombat; Corporal Theerapong Kualo; Corporal Piyapong Chumkhao; and Corporal Attapol Nimwoon.

The wounded civilians were identified as Pornchanok Aksonchu, Sorpi Sohoh, and Abdul-rohim Sama-ari.
The bomb caused a fire that engulfed the police base, and it took two hours to bring the blaze under control. During that time, there were that fears M16 ammunition at the base would explode.

The explosion and fire shattered the restaurant’s windows and also damaged seven nearby houses and five cars. Police investigators found that the car used in the attack was stolen at about 9.30am yesterday. Four men on two motorbikes opened fire at Somsak when he arrived at his garage business. Somsak sustained gunshot wounds to the torso and a leg and fled to a nearby home.

Police suspect the bomb attack is part of the region’s ongoing unrest.

It prompted security in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district to be beefed up.