King sends sympathies to Obama

His Majesty the King yesterday sent a condolence message to US President Barack Obama over the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The message reads: "The Queen and I would like to extend to you, and through you, to the American people, in particular the members of the bereaved families, our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences for their irreparable loss and immeasurable suffering caused by these outrageous incidents."

The US consulate-general in Chiang Mai yesterday lowered its flag to half mast to honour the victims of Boston's tragedy. The office was still open.

The twin explosions killed three and wounded at least 180 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung yesterday pledged to step up security at tourist spots in the wake of the Boston blasts.

Security officials are well prepared for any eventuality even though the country was not the prime target of the attack, the deputy prime minister said, adding the key principle is to take precautions at every location.

Ninnart Chalitanon, permanent secretary for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), said security will be tightened in crowded tourist spots such as Sanam Luang, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Siam Paragon and the Royal Pavilion Mahajetsadabadin.

Apart from the preparedness of the BMA's officials and surveillance cameras, police will be ordered to boost security at key locations in the capital, Ms Ninnart added.

Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) spokesman Dithaporn Sasasamit said yesterday the agency would analyse how the US handled the situation following the explosions. The solutions could be applied to the insurgent unrest in the South, he said.

The Isoc may not need to take extra precautions as police have now boosted security at the US embassy and consulate, Lt Gen Dithaporn said.