NARATHIWAT, Dec 1 – Thailand’s violence-plagued southern province of Narathiwat yesterday held a drill organized using the ‘Tung Yang Daeng Model’, considered a first step of 4th Army Region commander Lt Gen Prakan Cholayuth’s policy to keep deep south schools safe from insurgent attacks.
The drill was held at a local school in the provincial seat and was attended by a number of senior security officials.
In the exercise, a school was set ablaze by insurgents and security personnel protecting the school had to call for reinforcements to help put out the fire.
Police firefighting vehicles rushed in to douse the blaze while soldiers helped to see that the drill run according to plan.
‘The ‘Tung Yang Daeng Model’ was initiated recently by Army chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr as a new safety model for schools in the deep south as many schools, teachers and students alike, have come under insurgent attack for nearly 11 years.
According to official statistics, insurgents burned 199 schools in the deep South since the renewed violence began in the region in early 2004.
A total of 178 teachers and school staff and 53 students died, while 372 persons, including 208 students, were wounded or otherwise injured.