Isnin, 28 Oktober 2013

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Bomb squad trio killed defusing device in Thai south


BANGKOK, Oct 28, 2013 (AFP) - Three members of a Thai bomb disposal squad were killed Monday as they tried to defuse a device buried in a road in the country's insurgency-racked south, according to police.

The police team was called after a bomb was detected underneath the road in the Bacho district of Narathiwat province - a hotbed of the near decade-long insurgency against Thai rule.

The bomb went off as they tried to make it safe and killed the men instantly, a police officer said requesting anonymity.

"They were experienced members of the police bomb squad who had worked for a long time in the south," he said, adding a second bomb on the same stretch of road was later found and defused successfully.

Rebels fighting for autonomy in Thailand's Muslim-majority south frequently target security forces with roadside bombs.

Experts say the insurgents are deploying increasingly sophisticated and powerful devices, often packed with ball bearings to cause maximum damage.

Bomb squad members are frequently the first on the scene after an attack or once a bomb has been found, leaving them vulnerable to secondary devices planted nearby.

The conflict has left more than 5,700 people dead in the south, the majority of them civilians.

Shadowy groups of Muslim militants have waged near-daily bomb and gun attacks, targeting security forces and civilians from both the Buddhist and Muslim communities.

Violence erupted in 2004 in the Muslim-majority region bordering Malaysia, which was annexed by Thailand more than a century ago.

Bloodshed has continued despite several rounds of tentative peace talks hosted by Malaysia between the Thai authorities and some rebel groups.

But another round of discussions scheduled for October has been postponed amid continuing violence, raising doubts about the likely success of the talks.

Soaking up Biennale art - in sarongs


IT was wet. It was messy. It was fun. And it was art.

The lawn of the National Museum saw 100 women, men and children dressed in sarong wraps, sitting in plastic tubs of water, drenching themselves and having a ball.

They were taking part in a mass Mandi Bunga – flower bath – in a 10-minute performance art piece by Malaysian artist Sharon Chin. It is one of 10 community-driven arts projects featured in this year's Singapore Biennale, which is focused on South-East Asian art.

The flower bath item saw participants meeting at the Singapore Art Museum to collect flowers and herbs for the bath, before crossing over to the National Museum to sit in tubs, pour water on themselves and others and even whip off their sarongs at the end of the performance piece.

Participant Nur Sue'Aldah, 19, an art student, called it "a once-in-a-lifetime experience".

"Mandi Bunga is traditionally a cleansing ritual bath. It was amazing to see how the artist got us all to connect with each other through such a simple ritual," she said.

The Biennale is Singapore's biggest contemporary art event. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network


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