03/13/2007, 00.00
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Tighter security on anniversary of separatist group’s founding

For three days security forces impose tighter surveillance across the country as fear of attacks by southern Islamic groups looms. School is burnt and night club is attacked last night in Yala. Ministry of Information and Communications Technology will install hundreds of closed-circuit television cameras around the country.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thai authorities have tightened security in the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala and in Bangkok till Thursday because of the anniversary of the founding of a Muslim separatist group.

On March 13, 1960, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) insurgent group was created in the wake of an education improvement programme that sought to assimilate Muslims and Malay. The BRN, which was active in the seventies and eighties, sought to establish an independent Pattani Republic that would incorporate the provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Satun and part of Songhkla.

In the Thai capital, the metropolitan police activated a security plan with surveillance of 3,000 risk-points in the city, including public areas, shopping centres, gas stations, foreign embassies and the Royal Palace.   

Thailand’s capital already experienced terrorist attacks on New Year’s Eve, which killed three people.

General Montree Sangkhasap, deputy director of the Internal Security Operations Command, said that the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology will install hundreds of closed-circuit television cameras in various locations around the country, especially in the south.

In Yala Province, authorities have set up more than 22 checkpoints to prevent insurgency attacks. However, on Monday insurgents struck at a night club and burnt a school in Yala's Yaha District

Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces are on or close to the border with Malaysia. All three are predominantly Muslim and poor compared to Thailand’s other, largely Buddhist provinces.

Violence in the area was sparked on 4 January 2004, when a group of Islamic militants raided an arms depot in Narathiwat. Since then more than 2,000 people have been killed in a conflict where organised crime and local corruption are mixed up with Islamic extremism.

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See also
Church promotes Muslim-Buddhist dialogue in order to stop violence
More bombings by Thailand’s Islamic separatist guerrilla
The fight against southern terrorism starts in Islamic schools
Islamic guerrillas and Thai army clash
More violence in southern Thailand


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