Cabinet approval sought for far South emergency decree extension

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BANGKOK, March 9 – Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said Friday that Thursday’s security agencies meeting resolved to seek cabinet approval to extend the emergency decree in the southern border region for another three months as the violence is continuing.

Gen Yutthasak, in charge of security affairs, said the meeting asked that the emergency decree be extended from March 20 to May 19.

The decree has facilitated the authorities operations in the insurgency-prone areas, he said.

He disclosed the result of the meeting after the attacks on military outposts in Narathiwat’s Bacho district on Thursday night in which twelve soldiers were wounded.

Assailants used M 79 grenade launchers and gunfire against the two outposts, setting fire to a building and damaging three motorcycles at the first outpost, while the other was only slightly damaged.

According to preliminary investigation, about 50 well-armed men divided into three groups attacked the two outposts. The last group cut trees down to block roads and felled three electric poles to cut power at the targeted locations. However, only one explosive went off.

The soldiers exchanged gunfire with the suspected insurgents for about 20 minutes before the attackers retreated.