Seven upper southern provinces placed under maximum alert

Security was placed at maximum in upper southern provinces as intelligence officials warned of possible violent attacks to mark one year anniversary of the Aug 11-12, 2016 sabotage.  

On August 11-12 last year, 10 bombs went off and five arsons broke out at commercial areas, convenience stores, marketplaces in  seven upper southern provinces–Phuket, Trang, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phangnga and Krabi.

Four people were killed and 32 others injured in what the police described as “local subotage”. Security officers initially believed the attacks were linked to politics as it took place only a few days after the Aug 7 constitutional referendum.

Following the incident, arrest warrants were issued for 10 suspects and investigation later showed most of them came from the deep South. Some of them were also found to be southern militants with records of violent attacks in the South.

Last week, security agency sent warning to local authorities in the seven upper southern provinces to step up surveillance operation throughout this month for possible violent attacks.

The warning prompted both public and private sectors to place their premises under tight and strict security checks.

These include airports, commercial centres, shopping centres, tourist spots and significant local government buildings.

All vehicles entering shopping malls, airport areas, and public parks are checked thoroughly one by one for explosives by security officials comprising soldiers, police, district officials and civilian volunteers.

Bomb attack near Muang Surat Thani police station on Aug 12, 2016

(Clip: Explosions at a clock tower in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan at about 9am on Aug 12, 2016)