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Reuters-Security at border to be ti

Subject: Reuters-Security at border to be tightened

Bkk Post May 4, 1999.
Security at border to be tightened
Soldiers begin search for Karens

The Naresuan Task Force has moved in artillery to ensure security around Ban
Nam Piang Din following an attack on a police station by foreign troops on

Soldiers have also begun a search for the Karen rebels believed responsible.

More soldiers would soon be deployed to police the border, an informed
source said.

About 20 intruders surrounded the police station, a stone's throw from the
border, on Saturday and opened fire with grenade launchers and automatic

The policemen manning the station escaped unhurt, but it has since been
under heavy guard around the clock.

It was reported that another Karen rebel group planned to shell the refugee
camp sheltering ethnic Karen of the Kaya origin in Ban Pang Kwai, Ban Pang
Tractor, and Ban Nai Soi in Muang district.

Col Tomorn Kitisophon, the Naresuan Task Force deputy commander, said the
aatack on the station attack was likely the work of Burmese troops backed by
influential elements and the incursion was meant as a "show of force" to
threaten local residents.

The situation was now under control and the army would launch swift
retaliatory measures against any further intrusions.

The border problem could be solved through enhanced dialogue between
local-level authorities in Thailand and Burma. Lack of communication would
escalate tension and result in friction, he said.

Col Tomorn conceded that budget cuts had compromised the army's capability
to police the border.

He opposed closing the Ban Nam Piang Din border pass, saying the situation
was still far less violent than other areas despite Saturday's attack.

A Thai villager reportedly abducted during the attack on the police station
was released yesterday.