Six Thai soldiers killed by bomb in restive south

Thai bomb squad officers inspect the site of a bomb blast in Thailand’s restive southern province of Yala on Nov. 17, 2012 after a powerful car bomb ripped through a town center in Thailand’s troubled south, killing at least one and wounding 20, police said. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2017
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Six Thai soldiers killed by bomb in restive south

THAILAND: Six Thai soldiers were killed and four injured when a roadside bomb ripped their patrol truck apart in the insurgency-plagued south on Monday, police said.
The bomb hit the pick-up as it was carrying ten soldiers along a dirt road in Pattani province, leaving a pile of rubble and twisted car parts.
“The roadside bomb exploded before noon, killing six and injuring four,” said Preuk Liengsuk, the police chief of Thung Yang Daeng district.
The Muslim-majority border region has been racked by violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay insurgents battle the government of Buddhist-majority Thailand for more autonomy.
Frequent shooting and bomb attacks have claimed more than 6,800 lives since 2004, with both sides accused of rights abuses and atrocities.
Thailand’s ruling junta has tried to restart peace talks with the Muslim militants since its 2014 power grab.
But the negotiations have failed to gain traction and regular attacks continue across the region.
The Thai side is unconvinced that rebel negotiators at the table can control foot soldiers, while the insurgents do not believe the junta will concede political autonomy any time soon.
While the insurgents mostly target troops and police, they also routinely turn their weapons on teachers, local officials and other civilians seen as collaborators with the state.
The last major bombing blamed on rebels — who rarely claim attacks — left at least 40 people wounded outside a supermarket in Pattani in May.
The army has also faced repeated accusations of abuse, including extrajudicial killings and torture of detainees in a region ruled for years by emergency laws.


Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers during a raid on suspected drug dealers at Mohammadpur Geneva Camp in Dhaka Saturday. (AP)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

  • Law enforcers have so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.
  • Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

DHAKA: Bangladesh has declared a war on drugs throughout the country. In the past 12 days around 84 alleged drug dealers were killed during gunfights with the law-enforcing agencies.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the anti-narcotic drive in early May.

Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

On early Sunday, 11 drug dealers were killed in separate gunfight incidents throughout the country. Among the dead was a ruling party leader who was a city councilor in Cox’s Bazar City.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), a paramilitary law-enforcing agency, started its anti-narcotic movement on May 4. And it has so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.

Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, spokesperson of the RAB, told Arab News: “There is no question of violation of human rights in our ongoing war against drugs.”

He said that when the RAB captured any armed person or group generally some shootout incidents took place. And, he claimed, it also happens in the US and other developed countries. “We arrest the drug dealers based on intel information and later on they are produced to the court.”

Bangladesh Police started its all-out operation against drugs on May 15, and police headquarters has directed all its units to start countrywide operations against dealers.

Mohammad Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said: “Our anti-narcotic operations will continue till the situations come down to a tolerant level.” He said the only objective of this operation was to bring down the usage level of narcotics in society.

Justifying the anti-drug movement, Masudur added: “We only arrest the persons with whom we get drugs. And we will continue this movement for an indefinite period.”

Obaidul Quader, general secretary of ruling party Bangladesh Awami League, said: “Any drug trader, irrespective of party, won’t be spared if accusations become true.

“The countrymen have amicably welcomed the law enforcement agencies’ drives against narcotics. Only those with evil political intentions are criticizing the crackdown,” Quader told local media on Saturday.

But Advocate Asadujjaman, human rights secretary of the BNP, claimed that in many areas of the country their supporters and leaders were arrested in the name of the anti-drug movement.

He added: “Any kind of extrajudicial killing is unconstitutional, illegal, inhuman and a violation of human rights of international standard. It shows that the government is not showing any respect to protect the basic rights of the people as stated in the Constitution.”

The country’s human rights group is also criticizing the killings. Nur Khan, renowned human rights activist and adviser of the Human Rights Support Society, demanded an investigation into every extrajudicial killing through a neutral and credible Investigation Commission.

Nur said: “This type of extrajudicial killing will establish the culture of absence of justice in the society. People will get frightened due to this situation.”