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Hundreds jailed by 'fake' bomb detectors in Thai south

Published on Sep 13, 2012 1:58 PM

YALA, Thailand (AFP) - Implicated by the wand of a "bogus" bomb detector, Mr Hassan became one of hundreds detained in Thailand's insurgency-racked south because of equipment that experts say is useless.

Scandal over the Thai army's use of the GT200 detectors has deepened rancour towards the authorities in the Muslim-majority border region, where nearly 5,300 people have died in an eight-year conflict that shows no sign of abating.

Human rights activists say more than 400 people have been locked up - some for up to two years - on the basis of spurious evidence gleaned by the device, which is at the centre of a British fraud probe.

"I was playing football at my school when someone shot at soldiers nearby," said Mr Hassan, who was held for 29 days without charge over the 2008 incident in Yala province - a hot-bed of violence.

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