Phuket plans against Apec terrorism

PHUKET: Lertkiat Vongpuaphan, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Governor’s Office, today announced that a team of high-ranking provincial officers have drawn up plans to defend against terrorism during the 3rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting next year. Phuket will host a peripheral meeting of the summit from August 14-23, with senior government officials from 21 Apec member economies expected to attend. The main conferences will be held in Bangkok from October 17-21. K. Lertkiat explained, “We are focused on four primary terrorist groups – Palestinian, radical Muslim, European and Asian – who are likely to act during the Apec conference.” The plan targets four types of terrorist acts: 1. Assassination of important persons; 2. Kidnapping of important persons; 3. Seizure of any vehicles, including airplanes; and 4. Seizure of important resouces and properties, including governmental offices and the airport. K. Lerkiat also explained that strategies for dealing with terrorist acts were drawn up, including who would be responsible for what type of response. “We are also preparing response teams, including a negotiation team with a translator and action teams, such as a SWAT team, a bomb disposal unit and a marine security team. “In addition, we will have specialized individuals, such as architects and rescue teams, on call to help. “The vehicles and equipment we will have on stand-by include ambulances, emergency response vehicles, a steamroller, forklifts and mobile generators,” K. Lertkiat said. “We have also identified high-risk areas where terrorists may act and appropriate venues where we can guarantee evacuees’ safety,” he added.

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