Deputy PM, army chief to visit far South Wednesday

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BANGKOK, Oct 23 – Thai Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa will visit the restive southern region on Wednesday to follow up on security operations and boost officials’ morale.

The deputy premier who overseas national security will visit the deep South with army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and will meet with governors of five southern provinces.

Gen Yuthasak said he was assigned by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to visit the violence-plagued provinces to give moral support to officials and follow up on the setup of security checkpoints, as well as inspect the army armaments.

Following the proposal of the army chief to assess the performance of all agencies concerned in tackling the southern violence for every three month, Gen Yuthasak said he has informed the premier of the army chief’s request.

He said the prime minister agreed to chair the performance assessment committee in order to boost the work’s efficiency.

4th Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Udomchai Thamsarorach said that Gen Yuthasak and Gen Prayuth will visit Ingkayut Borihan military camp in Pattani’s Nong Chik district and will be briefed of the situation in the three Muslim-majority provinces.

Both the deputy premier and army chief will then meet with dozens of Thai Muslims who graduated from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan to exchange views over possible solutions to solve the violence in the region.

Meanwhile, a railway worker was gunned down in Pattani’s Khok Pho district Tuesday morning as he was on his way to work at Napradoo Train Station.

The victim was identified as Likhit Insing, 41. He was shot four times in the back and legs.

Investigation is now underway to verify if the attack is insurgency-motivated or stems from a personal conflict.