Thai, Malaysian leaders agree on border security cooperation

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PHNOM PENH, April 3 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak agreed on Tuesday to step up security measures at border crossings following the weekend’s deadly car bomb attacks in Thailand’s two southern border provinces which killed 15 people.

Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovijakchaikul told reporters that the Thai and Malaysian leaders held luncheon discussions on the sidelines of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), agreeing on cooperation to increase security measures in particular at border crossing points.

Two Malaysian tourists are among three people died the the car bombing of the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai last Saturday. The hotel is frequented by Malaysian and Singaporean tourists. The attack came about an hour after twin blasts in Yala had killed 12 people and wounded more than 100.

The Thai and Malaysian leaders pledged to assign their defence ministries to adopt strict measures to check vehicles crossing border, Mr Surapong said.

The Thai authorities said the multiple attacks could have been the work of the same group of militants.

Thailand’s southern border region has been rocked by violence in an almost daily basis since the insurgency emerged in early 2004 with more than 5,000 people dying so far.

The two countries’ interior ministries will also be instructed to work out data base links to examine the records of inbound and outbound passengers for fear that the weekend fatal attacks might have been the work of people who hold dual nationality, according to the Thai foreign minister who is accompanying the premier to the summit.