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Thailand Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Apr 09, 2004

This Public Announcement is being issued to provide information to U.S. citizens on the need to exercise special caution in the far south of Thailand and to recommend avoiding nonessential travel in that area, particularly during the Songkhran water festival holidays the week of April 10-17. This Public Announcement expires on July 6, 2004.

The far south of Thailand has experienced incidents of criminally and politically motivated violence, including incidents attributed to armed local separatist or extremist groups. Since January 2004, a series of incidents in Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala provinces has included arson attacks directed at schools and other buildings associated with the Thai government, the placement of bombs in public areas and near local government offices, killings of police and other officials, and the theft of weapons and explosives. Although these incidents have focused primarily on Thai government interests, some of the recent violence has been indiscriminate. In late March a motorcycle bomb exploded and injured many people near a group of bars frequented primarily by tourists. Thai authorities have on occasion instituted special security measure in the affected areas, such as curfews, military patrols, and random searches of train passengers.

In response to recent incidents of indiscriminate bomb attacks and thefts of explosives, senior Thai officials have warned of the increased threat of terrorist acts, particularly during the extended Songkhran holidays the week of April 10-17. In view of the heightened threat during this period, the Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid nonessential travel to the far south of Thailand, including Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Satun, and Songkhla provinces, including the town of Hat Yai, and that they exercise special caution if they must travel in those areas during this period.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to register and update their contact information at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. Updated information on travel and security in Thailand may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. U.S. citizens should consult the Consular Information Sheet for Thailand and the latest Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at the Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov.

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