Security tightened following bombs in South
PHUKET: Following the deadly blasts in Yala and Haad Yai on Saturday (March 31) Phuket Vice-Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada today (April 2) ordered Provincial Police to tighten up the island’s security system.
Monday 2 April 2012, 06:46PM
Three bombs in the deep south of Thailand left 14 people dead and more than 200 injured.
V/G Chamroen commanded police to concentrate on access points to the island, especially Tha Chat Chai police check point and the Phuket International Airport, which might act as gateways for people bringing in bombs or bomb-making materials.
More patrol police are to be assigned to beef up surveillance of places such as major department stores, hotels and other areas that are crowded by tourists.
Police will also ensure that CCTV cameras installed in such locations are working properly.
“Personally, I don’t think Phuket is a target of terrorism,” said V/G Chamroen. “But it is better if we are not complacent about the situation.”
In addition to the watch on high-traffic areas, undercover police will be keeping an eye on communities formed in Phuket by migrants from the three southern provinces of Songkhla, Yala and Narathiwat, the focus of anti-government terrorism.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday (April 3), the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office, Bangornrat Shinaprayoon, said that the bombings in the South may have some slight effect on Phuket tourism during the Songkran festival, from April 13 to 15.
“The bombs may affect some tourist markets, especially Malaysia, which is close to Haad Yai,” she said, noting that two Malaysians died in the bombings and a number were injured, “so they may avoid going out or travelling [to Thailand] during Songkran.
“However, I believe there will be no effect on other tourist groups because Phuket is quite far from Haad Yai,” Ms Bangornrat said.