Gov’t forces in South wary of insurgents retaliation


BANGKOK, Feb 13 – Security agencies in Thailand’s far South have been warned to be on special alert for possible retaliation by insurgents following this morning’s attack on a military base in Narathiwat in which 16 assailants were killed, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said today.

Hailing efficient intelligence among government forces, the premier said local residents who tipped off the authorities will be given protection. In addition, the premier advised the security agencies in the South to make full use of technology and to create understanding among southern residents as part of improving security measures.

“The government has increased the number of security personnel while people are told to be vigilant in their respective communities,” Ms Yingluck said.

The latest incident will not be taken as a reason for a curfew, if any, in the South, she said, adding that the government did not want to impose a curfew or creating inconveniences to people.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said the attack on the military base in Narathiwat prompted the authorities in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla to beef up security, especially at risk-prone locations such as airports.

Lt-Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary general of the National Security Council, said the Malaysian authorities have been informed of the latest situation in Thailand and were told that some insurgents might flee into Malaysia.

Thai security officials plan to raise the issue during a meeting with their Malaysian counterparts next Thursday, he said.

Lt-Gen Paradorn said military bases remain the most-attractive targets for attacks by insurgents who prefer to stay away from communities to avoid conflicts with local people.