AUTHORITIES doubt that flyers found in the area where a tour coach was set ablaze on Sunday, demanding that bus operators using the Yala-Betong route pay protection money, were distributed by the southern insurgents, INN News said today (Dec. 19).
Security officials in the South analyzed the style of the flyers and found that they differed from those distributed in the past, which were usually written in Yawi language and had the movement’s insignia stamped on them, but this lot was written in Thai.
Authorities are also investigating other aspects of the torching of the coach, wherein the passengers and the driver were unharmed and their possessions not touched, as this differed from the insurgents’ usual practice.
Moreover the coach’s driver is the same person who drove another coach attacked with grenades in 2014 on the same route.
The flyers found at many points of Highway 410’s Yala-Betong stretch, which was printed from a computer, demanded that bus operators using this route sacrifice their resources and pay for passage, and threatening those who refuse to do so or keep mum that they will face the same fate as this bus, with their group not guaranteeing any safety whatsoever.
Top: Troops standing near the tour coach burnt on Sunday. Photo: INN News