Islamic committees deny insurgent plot tie, Army claims rebels met at Pattani office

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SHAFAQNA – A group of Thai students arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport Wednesday after a harrowing journey to flee war-torn Yemen. They were among 43 university students, who were stranded amid the fighting, who set foot again on Thai soil.

Islamic committees in three southern border provinces denied claims in an army intelligence report that southern insurgents had used facilities at the Pattani Islamic Committee to plan attacks.

The denial came after security officers were alerted to take precautions on April 7 following a report that 30 insurgents were active in Pattani.

According to the report, the group met at a conference room of Pattani’s Mahad Darul Maarif School, located in the office of the Pattani Islamic Committee.

The report says from here an order was issued to carry out bomb and gun attacks against soldiers, police and Buddhists from April 8-30. Waedueramae Mamingji, the chairman of a network representing Islamic committees in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, held a media briefing at the Pattani Islamic Committee Wednesday to denounce the report.

He said the meeting at the school was held to plan summer camp activities for young people and there was a huge turnout at the event.

As the budget for the activity is not coming from Pattani municipality’s coffers this year, a large number of participants were invited, he said.

Mr Waedueramae confirmed the meeting was not held to draw up plans to cause unrest.

The summer camp is held annually in line with a policy from the 4th Army Region chief and Pattani governor to encourage young people and children to spend their school holidays constructively, he said.

This year’s camp is the 28th, he said.

After the intelligence report was released, soldiers were sent to observe the Pattani Islamic Committee’s conference room where youth training is held every week, Mr Waedueramae said.

The soldiers did not have permission to observe the conference room. After taking pictures, the soldiers had a brief discussion and then left.

The soldiers’ presence was threatening, he added.

้Mr Waedueramae said he regretted that some officials do not have information or viewpoints consistent with the 4th Army Region chief’s policy.

He said talks will be held with the 4th Army Region commander about the matter, adding “prejudiced” officers were thought to have supplied the misinformation.

Lt Gen Prakarn Cholayuth, commander of the 4th Army Region, insisted all parties are making every effort to bring peace to the southern border provinces.

Source : http://www.bangkokpost.com/

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