Cabinet extends emergency decree in far South 3 more months


BANGKOK, Sept 17 – The Thai cabinet on Tuesday extended enforcement of a state of emergency decree in the violence-plagued deep South region for three more months.

Government deputy spokesperson Sunisa Lertpakawat said the security law extension, the 33rd, will be in effect from September 20 through December 19 in the three southernmost border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

Pattani’s Mae Lan district is not, however, under the state of emergency.

Insurgency-related violence in the region erupted in 2004, claiming more than 5,000 lives in subsequent years.

Ms Sunisa said the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) has also proposed the cabinet to considered lifting emergency decree in five districts, including Sukhirin, Mai Kaen, Kabang, Wang and Betong.

Kabang district will be the pilot project to determine if the state of emergency will be lifted, said the spokesperson, adding that ISOC has been assigned to work with the interior ministry and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) to be prepared for security measures in the district.

Meanwhile, the latest insurgent attack occurred in Pattani’s Sai Buri district today as a roadside bomb was triggered when a group of army rangers was on patrol.

The rangers were unhurt in the incident as their vehicle had just passed the scene when the bomb exploded.

A further incident occurred in Pattani’s Nong Jik district where a 52-year old schoolteacher identified as Weerayut Thongnopparat was seriously wounded in a shooting while he drove his motorcycle from school to his home.