Six Songkhla districts on alert for possible attack

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SONGKHLA, Feb 25 – Six districts of this southern Thai province were put on higher security status on Monday following intelligence reports of possible violent incidents.

Songkhla Governor Kritsada Boonrach ordered officials responsible for the six districts to specially monitor the situation and step up security measures as intelligence reports said insurgent attacks are likely in four districts which are adjacent to the three restive southern provinces.

The four districts targeted for possible attacks are Chana, Thepa, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi.

The governor said the vulnerable targets are government offices and schools, as well as local communities.

Apart from government security forces, Mr Kritsada said village heads and village protection units will be the main security units to protect their communities, combined with about one hundred defence volunteers for each district.

For the commercial district of Hat Yai and the provincial seat, the governor said he has asked the military and border police to help screen suspected persons and devices in crowded locations such as tourist areas to ensure safety for the public.

Hat Yai District Chief Seree Panichyakul said Songkhla province and the Region 4 Internal Security Operations Command will conduct a security exercise at Lee Gardens Hotel area tomorrow.

He said the exercise is a monthly ISOC monthly practice in order to ensure rapid and efficient rescue operations in case of any emergency.