Army chief orders more checkpoints in deep South


BANGKOK, Sept 24 – Army chief Gen Prayutha Chan-ocha said on Monday that he ordered more checkpoints and beefed up security in Thailand’s restive southern border provinces following last week’s car bomb which claimed six lives and wounded dozens in Pattani.

Gen Prayuth said security personnel will step up their tactical moves as the insurgents are likely to attack violently as soon as they have a chance. The tactical moves will be applied in parallel with strategies advised by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej focusing on “Understand, Access and Develop” to be implemented by the civilian-oriented Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC).

The army chief noted that law enforcement in the southern border region is restricted as local residents are both for and against the imposition of special security law in the areas.

He said forensic science will be the best way to bring suspected insurgents for prosecution within the legal system, while the army will increase security by setting up more checkpoints in all areas. Local residents may be inconvenienced in some designated close watch areas.

Gen Prayuth added that there are some loopholes in security operations as the number of local residents considered as “vulnerable targets” is high, while security protection units for teachers, schools and temples are also targets of the attacks, as such patrols usually travel on the same routes.

“The problem is that the area is vast,” said Gen Prayuth. “Although we classify the areas by their level of violence, there is still the risk that the assailants will launch attacks in areas not in the list.”

The army chief said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra wants security beefed up in city areas under the responsibility of the governors and police, while the army will provide backup support.