Police tightened security measures in five districts of Songkhla province yesterday over concerns insurgents would stir up violence on the anniversary of the Pattani United Liberation Organisation's foundation.
Police forces in Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi, and Hat Yai districts have been reinforced with extra officers to boost security in districts seen as prone to insurgent attacks.
Police are conducting thorough security checks on cars using roads connecting districts of Songkhla with the far South.
They are also working closely with the Internal Security Operations Command's (Isoc) Region 4 in assessing the security situation.
Songkhla governor Krisada Boonraj, meanwhile, dismissed rumours spread on social media that police at Kwuan Mid permanent security checkpoint in Chana district had seized a vehicle primed to be used as a car bomb.
The governor said it was a hoax that was spread in order to stir up unrest in the province.
Mr Krisada said members of the public should listen to Isoc as a credible source of information.
Col Jatuporn Klampasut of Isoc Region 4 said the command had obtained clear evidence that oil and drug smuggling rings were linked to the insurgent movements in the deep South.
These illicit businesses provided both funding and weapons to the insurgent groups, he said.
Isoc, police and customs authorities were working together to fight illegal businesses and the insurgent movement, Col Jatuporn said.
In related news, police probing three ATM bombings in Saba Yoi, Thepha and Na Thawi districts on Wednesday said they were compiling more evidence to back their request for an arrest warrant for a group of insurgents operating in Songkhla.
The group was under the control of Abdultolae Kaso, police said.