Army chief orders tightened security, shed uniforms

Friday, 17 January 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 3 By  MCOT

Thai army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha instructed army personnel to tighten security to prevent any untoward incidents when the anti-government protesters came out onto the streets to shut down the city.

Lt Gen Weerun Chanthasartkosol, commander of the Army Air Defense Command, said the army chief expressed concern over the ongoing anti-government demonstrations by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.Army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.

He instructed army personnel assigned to join police operations to adhere to peaceful means and strictly follow regulations.

Gen Weerun asserted that the army’s presence is not meant to pressure the police, but the army personnel are only police aides under the orders of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO).

Gen Weerun added that nine companies of soldiers have been deployed to protect key government office buildings including Government House, Government Complex in Chaengwattana district, and Pathumwan intersection.

He said all deployed soldiers have only batons and shields to protect themselves. If any incident occurs in areas where police are not deployed, he said, the soldiers will intervene to handle the situation first.

Meanwhile, Thai News Agency reported that security measures have been tightened at army headquarters in Rachdamnoen Nok Avenue. Soldiers and staff were instructed to wear plain clothes so that they will not be targets of attacks by ill-intended persons.

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