Phamon Phonphanit

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Phamon, 61, a reporter with
the Thai-language newspaper Sue Samut Atyakam, died at Yala Central
Hospital from severe
burns suffered while covering a series of timed bomb attacks in Sungai Khalok
town, Narathiwat province, on September 16, according to news
reports. At least six people died and more than 100 were injured by three car
and motorcycle bomb explosions detonated at 20-minute intervals in a densely
populated area of town, news reports
. A fourth bomb was found and
defused by authorities, according to the reports. 

No group took responsibility
for the attack. Police detained two suspects who were allegedly identified by
surveillance camera footage of the area where the bombs were detonated.
Authorities said they planned to seek arrest warrants for additional suspects
believed to be involved in the attacks, according to the reports. 

Phamon’s death came in the context
of a Muslim separatist insurgency that started in January 2004 in Thailand’s
three southernmost provinces, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala. More than 4,800
people had been killed in violence associated with the insurgency. Chalee
, a reporter with Thai Rath,
the country’s largest Thai-language newspaper, was killed on August 21, 2008,
while covering another series of timed explosions in Sungai Kolok.