Three bombs in Yala, one dead, 18 injured

A pickup truck riddled by shrapnel from one of the explosions in Yaha district of Yala province on Thursday morning. (Photo supplied by police)

YALA: Three bombs detonated in Yala province on Thursday morning, killing one ranger and injuring another 18 security officials, ranger volunteers and civilians.

The first explosion, a 15 kilogramme bomb planted at a power pole in tambon Kabang, was reported around 7am to Kabang police station.

Investigators said villagers heard an explosion around 1.30am, but no one dared to go and check on it.

They waited until sunrise and then discovered a bomb blast had damaged a power pole, but caused no injuries.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was despatched to examine the scene. They were on their way, on the road linking Yala and Kabang district, when a second bomb went off as the team passed through tambon Padaeru in Yaha district about 9am.

The explosion damaged a vehicle driven by a ranger volunteer and the van carrying the EOD unit. One ranger, Pfc Thanate Phuttho, and the ranger volunteer, Arwut Auppapong, were injured. Police accompanying the unit traded shots with the ambushers.

About five minutes later soldiers from Ranger Unit 47 arrived, and the insurgents quickly withdrew.

Bomb squad members jammed mobile phone and radio signals in the area before inspecting the scene. The bomb had been placed at a roadside pole and detonated by radio.

While they were still examining the scene, another bomb exploded there about 10am. It injured many people.

The latest reports were that a total of 19 people had been sent to hospitals in the area.  Pfc Thanate Phuttho was pronounced dead at a hospital.