NCPO orders security boost after bomb alert

The military has ordered stepped-up security, especially near the Erawan shine, such as at CentralWorld, above. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered security to be stepped up following warnings of possible car bomb attacks later this month.

NCPO spokesman Piyapong Klinphan said Tuesday the regime has instructed security agencies to watch for suspicious activities, set up checkpoints and conduct searches to prevent any public disturbances. This comes after police earlier boosted security in response to the threat.

The month of October was a politically significant month and government officials must ensure public safety and prepare themselves for any situation, Col Piyapong said, referring to police’s warning of possible violence from Oct 25-30.

Authorities are monitoring movements of people suspected of launching serial bombings in seven southern and central provinces on Aug 12, the NCPO spokesman said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he was verifying the security warning and reporters should not exaggerate them.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul confirmed on Monday police had received intelligence about possible attacks in three locations during Oct 25-30 in the capital and nearby provinces.

Pol Gen Srivara said authorities are on alert and have been told to step up both surveillance as well as intelligence operations.

He said while there are no specific targets, there will be extra-tight security in tourist spots, embassies and symbolic locations.

More than 100 police officers from the Metropolitan Police Division 4 and the Patrol and Special Operation Division (PSOD), also known as the 191 police unit, searched nine locations on Ramkhamhaeng Road in Bangkok following Tuesday’s security alert about possible car bomb attacks.

During a search of an apartment in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 53, 10 men were detained for questioning.

PSOD chief Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal said the operation targeted densely populated areas as well as looked for suspects wanted on arrest warrants and those with criminal backgrounds.

Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn later revealed a sweep of areas in Hua Mak, Wang Thong Lang, Min Buri and Nong Chok districts has found no one with links to any possible car bomb attack plots.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit also said he has instructed officers at 88 police stations in Bangkok to report the results of their searches of locations such as hotels and apartments.

In Samut Prakan’s Muang district, police and soldiers raided an apartment room in Soi Aksornlak and detained a man identified as Preecha Samalee, 39, a mobile phone repairman working at a department store.

They seized a large number of mail packages and modified mobile phones and sent them to Explosive Ordinance Disposal experts to see if the modified devices were intended for use in detonating bombs.

Police are investigating if Mr Preecha is linked to the insurgent violence in the deep South.

Article source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/security/1108157/ncpo-orders-security-boost-after-bomb-alert

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