State of emergency extended again

State of emergency extended again

The state of emergency in the deep South will be extended for another three months, according to Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

He said the committee chaired by Gen Prawit that is handling the emergency situation in the region has approved the further extension of the emergency decree in Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat from Dec 20 to March 19.

The decision follows Tuesday's car bomb attack at a block of police flats in Narathiwat's Muang district, which claimed the life of one officer and injured 45 other people, including children.

Gen Kongcheep said the meeting took into consideration the continuation of violent incidents and decided to maintain enforcement of the emergency decree except for nine districts in the three southernmost provinces.

They comprise the four districts of Sri Sakhon, Sungai Kolok, Waeng, and Sukhirin in Narathiwat; Yaring, Mai Kaen, and Mae Lan in Pattani; and Betong and Kabang in Yala.

Gen Kongcheep said Gen Prawit has instructed the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) to closely monitor the situation when reviewing dangerous and surveillance zones, and speed up the investigation into the recent car bomb.

Meanwhile, Provincial Police Region 9 has transferred Pol Col Jeffrey Salaimanakul, chief of Muang police station, to an inactive post at Narathiwat's police operation centre following the explosion.

In the order signed by Provincial Police Region 9 commissioner Pol Lt Gen Nanthadej Yoinuan, Pol Col Ranon Surawit, a senior investigator at Muang police station, has been appointed as acting chief. The transfer orders took effect on Friday.

Nara Sikhalai school, which sustained slight damages from the blast, resumed on-site classes on Friday and had its students take a mental health examination.

Sanya Sukphet, the school director, said some of the students remained in shock, and the school would be monitoring their mental health to ensure they receive proper assistance and counselling.

Panuwat, a student, said he was in the school library when he heard a loud explosion, but he had no idea it was a bomb attack. He came out and saw smoke from the police flats as teachers escorted students to the rear of the school.

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