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JENAYAH & KEMALANGAN

New Straits Times 09 April 2001

Police tightens Malaysia-Thai border security following bomb blast
Stringent checks, especially on Thai vehicles, steps up
by Sharanjit Singh (sharan@nstp.com.my)

Police have tightened security at the Malaysia-Thailand border area following several bomb blasts in the southern part of the neighbouring country.

State police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Hairuddin Mohamad said more stringent checks would be conducted on those entering the country through the Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint.

He said vehicles, especially Thai-registered ones, would be checked to ensure those responsible for the bomb blasts did not sneak into Malaysia.

"The stringent checks are just a precautionary measure," he said. "The security at the border area is under control and we are monitoring the situation closely."

Hairuddin said police were working closely with their Thai counterparts and had been contacting each other over the phone after the bomb blasts were reported.

However, he said there had been no reports to indicate those responsible were trying to sneak into Malaysia.

Hairuddin also called on locals visiting Thailand to be extra careful and check on latest development with the Malaysian authorities in Songkhla to check on latest developments there.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian vice-counsel in Songkhla, Mat Stapa Mat Som, declined to comment on the situation there, saying that any information on the matter would be given by Wisma Putra.

It was reported that two bombs exploded in different parts of southern Thailand, leaving a five-year old child dead and 38 others injured.

The bomb blasts occurred at the Haadyai railway station and a hotel car park.

Police and army officials believe the blasts, carried out at tourist centres during the busy holiday weekend, were the work of a militant group who mounted a similar wave of bombings in the 1990s.

Thai army chief General Surayudh Chulanon was reported to have warned that the blasts might be the first strike in a new campaign of terror mounted by the separatist Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo).

 

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