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SOUTHERN THAILAND TOURISM

 

Malaysian travellers asked to skip troubled southern Thailand

 


 

 

BY A CORRESPONDENT
February 27, 2007

The citizens of Malaysia have been advised by the Malaysian government to avoid traveling to southern Thailand following the latest spate of bombings in which seven people were killed in the violence-torn region.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar on Tuesday asked holidaymakers to give southern Thailand, a favoured travel destination of Malaysians, to skip southern Thailand following the bombings.

“There are a lot of uncertainties in that part of Thailand. It is better to avoid going there rather than get caught in the crossfire,” Syed Hamid was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times daily.

“I hope Malaysians will not go there now and endanger their lives,” Syed Hamid added.

Synchronised bombings set off on Sunday night had killed at least six people and wounded 54 others. Four of the injured are said to be in a critical condition.

Another bomb was detonated on Monday morning in Yala town, killing one soldier – thus bringing the overall death toll to seven.

Syed Hamid requested the urged the government of Thailand to “push urgently for peace and stability in the area and increase security” in the deep-South, where more than 1,900 people have died in increasing violence over the past three years.

In Malaysia’s northern Kelantan state, bordering Thailand, police have increased security, especially at the border areas, according to Malaysia’s police chief Zulkifli Abdullah.

Thailand had on Friday agreed to allow Malaysia to play the role of mediator in initiating negotiations with the various groups involved in the violence, but Malaysia has said it is still waiting for an official request from the Thai government.

Thailand’s deep South – which comprises Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala – has a large Muslim majority and over 80% of the population there are ethnic Malays.

A separatist struggle for the past five to six decades has been the cause for the increasing violence in Thailand.
 

 

 

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