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UDON THANI: As 58-year-old village headman Boonchu Srisingha was leaving his home in tambon Chiang Yuen on the morning of 27 January, he noticed a white plastic bag hanging from the fence surrounding his home. Intrigued, he looked closer and spotted a note attached to it that read, “Please give the contents of this bag to Mongkol Singhamaw, aged 28, of 129 Moo 5.” As the bag was tightly wrapped in electrical wire and appeared to have a fuse, K. Boonchu suspected it wasn’t a birthday present. Rather than contact K. Mongkol – a handsome construction worker recently returned from Israel and due to be married in a few days – he called the police. When Muang district police arrived they were just as puzzled by the bag. They learned from K. Boonchu that K. Mongkol had already been the victim of numerous threats by a jilted ex-lover, and they had to suspect the worst – a time bomb. A bomb squad from Border Patrol Police Unit 24 was called in. Word travels quickly in a Thai village, and by the time the experts arrived, a sizable crowd had already gathered to watch. The team X-rayed the plastic bag, but the results were inconclusive. For safety’s sake they had to assume that it was a bomb. Thinking it would be too risky to move, they decided the best course of action was to detonate the bag in a “controlled explosion”. An explosive charge was placed near the plastic bag and set off. The bag’s contents – putrefied chicken parts and human excrement – went flying in every direction, splattering the crowd of onlookers. Hopefully the incident will teach them to stand a bit farther back the next time the bomb squad pays a visit.