Bomb explodes near judge’s home
Bangkok | June 12
(AFP) – A remote controlled bomb exploded in southern Thailand today as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to step up security in the restive Muslim majority provinces.
The explosion came only one hour after Thaksin used his weekly national radio address to outline increased security measures in the provinces near Malaysia, including the questioning of anyone deemed suspicious by the army or police.
Police said the roadside bomb exploded without causing casualties opposite the home of Narathiwat’s chief judge at 10am, near the southern provincial capital of the same name. “It was a remote control bomb planted under the tree and we also found part of the mobile phone (used to detonate the device),” said a Narathiwat police spokesman.
“I told them (security forces) to be more on the offensive, such as carrying out more patrols and setting up more checkpoints,” Thaksin said, adding that police had also been told to take a less cautious approach to detaining suspects.
This follows violence in the south yesterday, during which gunmen wounded a policeman hours after assailants slit the throat of a volunteer security guard and a bomb exploded without causing injuries.
Thailand’s south has endured decades of separatist violence. After a period of relative peace, trouble flared at the start of this year with bombings and murders targeting officials, security forces and Buddhist monks.
The violence reached a peak on April 28 when 108 suspected Muslim separatists were killed when they attacked police posts and checkpoints.