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Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha visits south after spate of violence

Published on Feb 20, 2013 7:08 PM
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Security personnel investigate around bodies of insurgents at the site of an attack on an army base in the troubled southern province of Narathiwat on Feb 13, 2013. Thailand's army chief general Prayuth Chan-ocha is visiting Pattani in southern Thailand on Wednesday, on the heels of a spate of violence in the province. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

Thailand's army chief general Prayuth Chan-ocha is visiting Pattani in southern Thailand on Wednesday, on the heels of a spate of violence in the province.

The general was critical of soldiers for not being vigilant, citing the wounding of eight soldiers playing soccer in the grounds of a Buddhist temple in Yala on Tuesday, by a grenade tossed over the wall.

The southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and part of Songkhla have been in the grip of a Malay-Muslim nationalist insurgency. Violence since 2004 - some of it however also related to local criminality in a region rife with guns - has taken well over 5,000 lives.

News reports also quoted Thai intelligence agencies warning security and government agencies in the region to be on the alert for car bombs. The caution came on the heels of a series of bomb attacks in Pattani that since last Saturday have killed two paramilitary rangers, wounded 12 people, and damaged a bar and shops.

 
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