Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has authorized security forces to impose curfews in nine districts of the Deep South after suspected separatist rebels killed 15 people in twin attacks on village defense posts in Yala province on Tuesday.
Prayuth’s directive was issued to “prevent, contain, and manage the situation in areas where there are threats to national security,” according to the Royal Gazette, which published the authorization Friday. The prime minister signed the directive on the day after the attacks.
Prayuth indicated that the directive was spurred by the devastating attacks in Yala, although the announcement made no mention of the violence that killed a mix of police officers, defense volunteers and civilians. The two attacks inflicted the highest death toll in the border region since 2004, when a long-running separatist insurgency flared up again.
“I don’t want the suspects to cross over to other areas,” he told reporters in Bangkok on Friday, as he sought to explain the significance of imposing a curfew. “I will try to make it short for measures announced in the order.”
The authorization under the Internal Security Act permits the director and other appointed executives of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) – the military’s political coordination body headed by Prayuth – to declare a curfew and prevent people from entering or leaving venues related to security operations.
The directive did not make clear what punishment would be given to curfew violators.
The curfew can be imposed from Dec. 1 this year until Nov. 30, 2020 and will cover Betong district of Yala province, Mae Lan district of Pattani province, Sukhirin, Su-ngai Kolok and Si Sakhon districts of Narathiwat provinces, and Thepha, Chana, Na Thawi and Saba Yoi districts of Songkhla province.
The potential curfew affects nine districts that are the only ones in the Deep South not covered by martial law and emergency powers. Tuesday’s attacks took place in Yala’s Muang district.
It would not be the first time for the Thai government to impose curfews.
Full story: BenarNews
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