Army chief visits South to boost morale of local officials after weekend car bomb

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NARATHIWAT, July 24 – Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha travelled to Thailand’s southern border province of Narathiwat this morning to boost the morale of local officials there following last week’s car bombing.

Commenting on the violence, Gen Prayuth said it occurs every year during the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan. Suspected insurgents instigate violence and distort Islamic teaching. The army chief said it needs time and advanced technology to quell the violence.

Special laws applied in violence-affected areas have facilitated the authorities operations but the laws are not fully enforced, he said.

Regarding the controversial GT-200 bomb detector which scientific tests concluded to be ineffective, the army chief said the army accepted the result but the device is still in use in the southern border region as there is no other device to replace it.

Last Friday’s car bomb injured eight people and set ablaze a commercial building in Narathiwat.

The 50-kilogramme bomb placed in a pickup truck was set off shortly after 6am in front of a computer shop.