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Southeast Asia
Two killed in Thai South as classes reopen
Two civil servants were killed and five others, including a female teacher, wounded in a fresh gun attack in Narathiwat province yesterday. The shootings came as most schools in the far South resumed classes after closing following deadly attacks on teachers last week.

Police were alerted to the latest shootings at 5:20 p.m. yesterday. The two dead victims were both officials from the Agricultural Extension Office in Sungai Padi district, and were shot in the back.

The seven victims were among 15 passengers traveling in a truck which regularly transports officials from their homes in Muang district to their workplaces in Sungai Padi.

The driver of the truck, said the attack occurred as they were returning to Muang district along a section of road flanked by rubber plantations. He said that when he realised they were being ambushed, he sped up to escape the attack and to rush the dead and wounded to a nearby hospital. At the scene of the ambush, police found more than 30 spent M16 shells and one magazine.

Meanwhile, most schools in the three southernmost provinces remained quiet as classes resumed yesterday. Few teachers and students turned up out of fear of further terrorist insurgent attacks.

About 1,200 schools in the far South called off classes on Thursday and Friday after five armed men stormed Ban Ba-ngo school in Pattani provinces and opened fire, killing the school director and a teacher on Tuesday last week.

A police source said one of the suspected attackers has been identified as Marudin Tahae, from Pattani's Panare district. Mr Marudin is believed to be a Runda Kumpulan Kecil commander. The source said he has been linked to many attacks in Pattani, and that an arrest warrant has been issued.

Brad Adams, Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, yesterday called on Muslim terrorists insurgents in the far South to stop killing teachers. He said, "These attacks harm not only teachers and schools, but the Muslim students, their families, and the broader Muslim community the insurgents claim to represent."
Posted by:ryuge