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Thailand on high alert amid terror threats

world Updated:
AFP
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Police in Bangkok remained on high alert on Saturday after three western nations and Japan warned of possible terror attacks in the Thai capital.

"The Metropolitan Police are on full alert. We have maintained our security measures at the maximum level since the bombs on December 31," said Major General Kamol Kaewsuwan, deputy chief of Bangkok Metropolitan police.

Since a wave of bombs on New Year's Eve in downtown Bangkok killed three and injured dozens, including foreign tourists, police have beefed up security at department stores, train stations and Bangkok's new international airport.

The Thai capital was again on fresh alert after Australia, Canada, Britain and Japan warned of possible terror attacks in Bangkok and urged their citizens to stay away from crowded places such as shopping malls and stations.

The foreign warnings came after Thai Defence Minister Boonrawd Somtas said Thursday Islamic separatists from the country's restive Muslim-majority south could slip into the capital and mount attacks in Bangkok.

But Thai officials on Saturday said no new security alert was issued, while the US Embassy in Bangkok left its travel advice on the website unchanged, urging travellers to monitor events and to avoid large public gatherings.

Kamol said police have increased security at more than 1,000 locations including embassies, government buildings, shopping malls, train stations and popular tourist hangouts since the deadly New Year's Eve bombs.

Thailand has also been hit by an insurgency in the Muslim-majority south bordering Malaysia. Nearly 2,000 people have been killed in the unrest since 2004, but the violence has largely been contained in the region.

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