NCPO okays fences for at-risk schools

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) panel responsible for ending violence in the deep South has approved a plan to build fences around schools in 136 villages at high risk in the region.

  • Published: 22/07/2014 at 06:04 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

Col Banpot Poonpian, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), said Education Ministry representatives had informed the panel of the need for a fence around village schools, saying they would help keep insurgents out.

Col Banpot said many remote schools in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat had no fences around them, making teachers and students easy targets for insurgents.

Schools said to be at high risk of attack were in Yala's Yaha and Raman districts, Pattani's Sai Buri and Kapho districts, and Narathiwat's Chanae, Cho Airong and Rangae districts, according to Col Banpot.

Plans to construct fences around remote schools were approved by the panel chaired by NCPO secretary-general Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, who is also the army's deputy commander.

Col Banpot said the panel also approved plans to install more CCTV cameras in high risk areas.

The plan was proposed by representatives from the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC).

He said NCPO chief Prayuth Chan-ocha wants to see more CCTV systems installed throughout the South as soon as local authorities have finished installing the cameras at high-risk areas.

The panel suggested the two organisations fund the plans with their unused budgets from 2014.

When asked about costs incurred by the two security projects, Col Banpot said representatives of the agencies had not announced the figures at the meeting.

Gen Udomdej insisted it was still a priority for Thailand, under the NCPO's directive, to continue a peaceful dialogue with the separatists.

Peace talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional separatist group are currently underway, Gen Udomdej said, and he could not disclose any more details.

Gen Udomdej said he will call a meeting of his panel twice a month to expedite efforts to help people in the deep South.

Meanwhile, two teenagers were shot and wounded, one of them seriously, late on Sunday night, in Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat, police said.

Pol Lt Anukul Chaisuwan, of Sungai Padi police station, said Saifudin Salae, 17, and Iraham Ramae, 16, were returning home on a motorcycle when they were shot by attackers hiding by the side of Sungai Padi–Sako road near Ban Doha in tambon Riko.

The ambush occurred about 11.30pm.

Mr Saifudin was shot twice in his left arm.

Mr Iraham was shot in the chest and seriously injured.

The teens were taken to the district hospital by passersby.

Investigations into four home-made bombs detonated simultaneously in Rangae district on Sunday have implicated at least seven suspects, Pol Col Jiradej Phrasawang, superintendent of Rangae Police station, said yesterday.

No one was injured in the blasts.

The first two bombs were placed in two oil cans near a rubbish bin behind Tanyongmat railway station.

The third was placed at the base of an electricity pole in front of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the fourth bomb was placed by the clock tower in front of the Tanyongmat railway station.

Pol Col Jiradej said CCTV camera footage captured the suspects' identities.

He said he will ask the Narathiwat provincial court to approve arrest warrants for the suspects. Their names were not released yesterday.

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Writer: Wassana Nanuam & Patsara Jikkham

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