Deputy PM orders security to remain tight in business areas of deep South

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SURAT THANI, Oct 21 – Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa ordered security to remain heightened in the three southern border provinces following a series of insurgent attacks in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district Saturday night.

Ahead of the 5th anniversary of the Tak Bai incident on October 25, coinciding with the Hari Raya celebration, the deputy prime minister said a warning about possible violence was issued for heightened security since October 19, as possible symbolic attacks could be launched during this period from Oct 25-28.

However, he said the situation is under control and he will visit the three southern border provinces next week.

Regarding the series of attacks on Saturday night, he said he received a report of a nine-year-old child wounded at the bombing at the karaoke bar. One official was wounded and one suspected insurgent was killed.

Hotels and restaurants in business areas have not been affected, as security officials work strictly to protect those areas. However, in outer areas, security will remain tightened at entertainment venues and hotels until the end of this month, he said.

The Tak Bai violence occurred on Oct 25, 2004 when hundreds of people were arrested while protesting the arrest of six local men. The arrested protesters were handcuffed and thrown into trucks heading for an army camp in nearby Pattani province.

At least 85 of them were found to have suffocated to death upon the vehicles’ arrival at the camp.