Body to probe Thai mosque shooting

Associated Press

Bangkok, May 4:

The government today set up an independent investigation into last week’s army assault on a mosque in southern Thailand following criticisms that it used excessive force. An official statement said the fact-finding commission is required to report within one month its findings into the April 28 raid on the Krue-sae mosque in Pattani province during widespread fighting with Islamic militants that left 112 people dead.

Human rights groups have accused Thai security forces of using unnecessarily massive force while defending themselves from waves of attacks by machete wielding militants on at least 10 police and army outposts. A total of 107 militants and only five security forces were killed in the fighting that ended after troops fired rocket-propelled grenades into the ancient mosque, one of the most important in the south, and showered it with automatic gunfire.

The investigating team is required to “probe into the incident to find the persons or agencies who should take responsibility for possible legal implications.” The commission will be headed by a former judge, Suchinda Yongsoonthorn, and comprise prominent Muslim academicians and legal experts.