Multiple improvised explosive devices (IEDs) wounded seven people in Narathiwat province and Pattani province on Friday, January 18. Suspected militants detonated two bombs near an army ranger patrol in Su-ngai Padi district (Narathiwat province), wounding five soldiers; two other police officers were wounded from a roadside bomb in Nong Chik district (Pattani province). Additionally, suspected militants killed two monks and wounded two others in an attack on a Buddhist temple in Su-ngai Padi district on Friday. Similar militant attacks targeting security forces and Buddhist monks are possible in Thailand's southern provinces in the near term.
An ethnic and religious separatist insurgency is ongoing in the four southernmost provinces of Thailand - Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala - which make up the historical Malay Patani region and are located in the extreme south of the country along the Thai-Malaysian border. Since 2001, over 7000 people have been killed (e.g. local residents, civil servants, security personnel, militants) and many more wounded in near-daily clashes and assassinations.
As a reminder, some Western governments advise against nonessential travel to Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and the south of Songkhla. Individuals in these areas should remain cautious and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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