Suspected separatists killed two people and injured 30 others in gun, explosive and car bomb attacks on three restaurants, followed by a car bomb against a hotel, at the border town of Sungai Kolok, police said yesterday.
Police said the militants on a motorbike hurled a grenade at a restaurant, wounding four, and began firing, killing a police officer and wounding four others.
They then turned their guns next door on two other restaurants, killing the owner, a 45-year-old Buddhist woman, and wounding another four people.
Moments later, a car bomb exploded in front of a Sungai Kolok hotel, wounding 20 people, police said.
Police immediately blamed a new generation of Malay Muslim insurgents for the attacks that occurred in spite of a high police presence in the area popular among Malaysian tourists.
Pol Lt. Col Mongkon Buachan said the bombs used were home-made, one to two kilograms in weight, with a PVC pipe as the canister.
The attacks caught everybody by surprise as the town is popular among Malaysian tourists who frequent its nightlife, and there was a heavy presence of security officials.
The two suspects were able to blend in wearing military fatigues similar to the province’s Defence Volunteers who normally function as security details for governors and district chiefs.
More than 3,900 people have been killed in the deep South where security forces are battling an insurgency that authorities accuse of trying to carve out a separate homeland for the ethnic Malay Muslims in the region.