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international news _ 10th January, 2007

Thai Bombings Prompt Full Moon Terror Alert

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Thai authorities assigned a bomb detection squad to protect revellers at Thailand’s infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Pha-ngan this week after three people were killed in a series of explosions in Bangkok on New Years Eve.

The Bangkok Post reported that police concentrated their resources around Hat Rin Beach and the neighbouring tourist strip to protect the 20,000 mainly Western revellers, with undercover cops on hand to catch unfortunate farangs spotted taking drugs. The bomb threat came a month after authorities cancelled the island’s Christmas beach party after typhoon Durian made sea conditions unsafe for small vessels ferrying ravers between Samui and Pha-ngan.

The latest police operation coincided with Thailand’s new Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont warning of further bombs, saying in a speech "I would like to ask our brothers and sisters to brace themselves for a life-threatening thing like this for a while.” (Reuters).

Mr Surayud Chulanont has been in charge since a military coup ousted former PM Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September and his warning matched official travel alerts from countries including Australia, Canada and Britain.

“British Citizens are advised to exercise caution when travelling within Bangkok and wherever possible to avoid crowded public places,” Britain’s Foreign Office warned in a travel update issued on January 2, which warned of ‘a possibility of further attacks in coming days’.

“There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Thailand. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against places frequented by foreigners,” they added.