Military to provide security for ‘outsiders’ in far South: Defence Minister

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BANGKOK, Feb 6 — Thailand’s military are ready to provide security protection for people from other provinces working in the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, if requested, according to Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat.

The minister’s comments came after four fruit traders from the eastern province of Rayong were killed in Yala on Tuesday.

Their murders followed the killing of two farmers from Sing Buri province in Pattani last Friday.

Last week’s victims were among 20 farmers from Suphan Buri and Sing Buri were in Pattani to teach farmers how to revive their abandoned rice fields.

Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol assured the public that security in the areas under military protection is guaranteed. Anyone or any group wanted to enter the areas for any purposes and need security protection could request assistance from the military which is pleased to help.

The minister also asserted the security plan in place is considered effective and he could see no need for changes, including the safety plan for this weekend’s Chinese New Year celebration.

Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol said that the security measures in the southern border provinces were strict enough and no other regulations, including curfew, would be implemented in the region.

He explained that stringent security measures in the region could not be strictly enforced as that would go against the people’s will to travel freely. However, the public also realised that they are at higher risk of being attacked.

Local residents should be more attentive and be better prepared to protect themselves, he said.