Thailand’s caretaker PM Yingluck worried by southern bombings


BANGKOK, April 8 — Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today expressed worry over the situation in the southern provinces after bomb attacks at eight locations in Yala on two consecutive days, killing one person and wounding 30 others.

Ms Yingluck, as caretaker defence minister, said she has instructed the armed forces chiefs to seek measures to protect the general public as well as economic zones.

She told the agencies concerned to urgently help those who were affected by the Yala bombings.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok was assigned to visit the southern provinces soon to inspect the situation.

Meanwhile, caretaker Deputy Defence Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha sad he would visit Yala soon to follow up the situation.

Gen Yuthasak said that he believed the attacks by insurgent groups in Yala were aimed to challenge the army after the reshuffle of commanders.

In the mid-year army reshuffle, Lt-Gen Walit  Rojanapakdi, commander of the 1st Army Corp, was appointed 4th Army Region commander, replacing Lt-Gen Sakol Chuentrakul.

National Security Council Secretary General Paradorn Pattanatabut said the insurgents normally intensified their attacks during April as a symbolic violent attack calling attention to the anniversary of the Krue Se mosque incident.

Lt Gen Paradorn said the change of 4th Army Region commander may have led the insurgents to test the newly appointed chief and test the government policy as well.

The suspended peace talks may be a factor, he added, saying  that the unstable political situation has affected attempts to solve the problems in the southern provinces, leading to changes in policy and budget.