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District in Thailand’s south declared Special Control Zones

The Thaiger & The Nation

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District in Thailand’s south declared Special Control Zones | The Thaiger

Special report from Chularat Saengpassa – The Nation

“We have no idea what will happen next. The soldiers have been keeping a close eye on people going in and out of the village.”

Locals in parts of Pattani’s Nong Chik district now live in fear due to the strong military presence in their hometown.

“We are scared and don’t want to leave our home these days,” said Nuda, whose husband has been under military custody since Sunday.

In an unprecedented move, the Forward Command of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 declared tambons Bang Khao and Tha Kham Cham of Nong Chik district as “special control zones” on Sonday. It’s the first time in a decade the declaration of a Special Control Zone has been made.

Residents in these zones are required to produce any weapons, ammunition and vehicles, including boats and motorcycles, they may possess for military examination at the Nong Chik District Office. They have until next Sunday to comply.

“We have no idea what will happen next. The soldiers have been keeping a close eye on people going in and out of the village,” Nuda added.

The forward command has taken drastic action in response to a recent attack on six rangers. On the night of September 11, six rangers were patrolling Tambon Bang Khao when more than 10 unknown gunmen opened fire on them. Though outnumbered, the rangers fought back until the gunmen retreated. Two rangers were killed and four injured in the incident.

Survivors said their attackers had disappeared into the forest, giving weight to a possible theory that the attackers might be locals, as they appeared to be familiar with the area.

The military has arrested eight suspects following the attack, including Nuda’s 28 year old husband.

“I don’t believe he took part in the attack as he works in a local factory and rushes home after work every day,” she said.

Nuda explained that she and her husband were dining with their children at home on Sunday night when more than 30 armed soldiers showed up, scoured the house and led her husband away.

“The soldiers took my husband around the house at gunpoint as they conducted a thorough search,” she recounted, adding that they even took away her phone, which made life difficult.

On Monday, she and some neighbours went to a local branch of the National Human Rights Commission to lodge a complaint and seek help.

Pornpen Kongkachornkiat, director of the Cross-Cultural Foundation, said she was worried about the blanket measures used by the military.

“It will only sow distrust,” she said.

“I have nothing against the attack being investigated, but I disagree with the measures the military is using.”

However, Fourth Army Region’s chief Lt-General Piyawat Nakwanich, who signed the order just two weeks ahead of his retirement, defended the measures taken.

“We are implementing these measures for people’s safety. The claims of persecution are invalid as we have taken action based on evidence,” he explained.

He added that four of the suspects had confessed to the crime and provided details about the incident.

District in Thailand's south declared Special Control Zones | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Prueg Ubonkerd

Tourist during Songkran have caused extensive damage to coral in the national park area of Trang, south of Thailand.

Matichon Online reports that the damage was caused by the tourist numbers overwhelming the area during the week-long Songkran break.

Many boats have dropped their anchors onto the fragile underwater area or tied ropes around corals as there are not enough buoys for the many boats. Some boats parked near corals beds where they tried to bring their customers closer to view the corals. Some boats have even hit the coral. Officials say that, apart from the Songkran holiday damage, the coral reefs are now started to bleach as well.

The head of Hat Chao Mai National Park says there were not enough staffs to handle the influx of tourists during the holiday in the marine park. Stricter regulations and more mooring buoys are to be set up this week.

Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran | News by The Thaiger Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran | News by The Thaiger Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran | News by The Thaiger Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran | News by The Thaiger Coral in Trang extensively damaged after tourist influx over Songkran | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Matichon

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South

SUV catches fire sitting in Trang’s hot sun

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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SUV catches fire sitting in Trang’s hot sun | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Earn Benjakun

A SUV has caught fire while it was parked in the hot southern sun in Trang over the weekend.

Fire fighters in Trang were notified of the burning SUV in Yan Ta Khao District in Trang at 2pm on Sunday.

Fire fighters arrived to find the SUV ablaze. It took about 15 minutes to control the fire.

The SUV owner, 35 years old Tanchanok Sasri, says that she has parked the SUV outside her home for about two hours under the hot midday sun. A neighbour alerted the woman that her SUV had caught fire.

Tanchanok says she also lost 200,000 baht cash which was left inside the SUV.

Investigators are trying to find the cause of the original ignition of the fire that destroyed the black SUV.

SUV catches fire sitting in Trang's hot sun | News by The Thaiger SUV catches fire sitting in Trang's hot sun | News by The Thaiger SUV catches fire sitting in Trang's hot sun | News by The Thaiger

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South

Pattani smuggler arrested with over 10,000 packets of illegal cigarettes

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Pattani smuggler arrested with over 10,000 packets of illegal cigarettes | The Thaiger

A man has been arrested in Pattani’s Mayo district after trying to smuggle 10,802 packets of foreign cigarettes.

Police and Excise Department chief Itthipol Liabyainak announced the arrest of Yaman Pohleng, the owner of a grocery store in Tambon Sakhor Bon.

Itthipol says the joint operation by Excise officials and border patrol police was carried out following tips-off that Yaman had allegedly opened the grocery store as a front for selling smuggled cigarettes.

He claimed the seized cigarettes were worth about 10 million baht. Itthipol alleges that Yaman also used his grocery store as a storage space for distributing the smuggled cigarettes to other shops in the area.

He said that large quantities of foreign cigarettes were being smuggled through the three southern border provinces and that Excise officials will crack down on all the shops selling these illegal cigarettes.

Pattani smuggler arrested with over 10,000 packets of illegal cigarettes | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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