Revellers told to stay safe during New Year; tighter security at CentralWorld
Police yesterday named 10 sites that could become bomb targets and urged people to stay away from these areas during New Year celebrations to prevent a repeat of the attacks in Bangkok five years ago that killed three and wounded 38 other revellers.
The 10 locations people have been urged to stay away from are Victory Monument, the Major Ratchayothin cinema complex, Seacon Square, CentralWorld, Khao San Road, Chitralada Palace, Si Sao Thewes, Mor Chit bus terminal, Soi Nana and Pata Pinklao.
The home of some important people, key government agencies and political-party offices will also be under police watch. Some of these locations saw bomb attacks in 2006, and of the 38 revellers wounded, eight were foreigners.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau released this list reportedly under the advice of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung. Officers at all 88 police precincts have been ordered to go on standby during the December 8-17 and December 20-January 3 periods, in addition to attending to their regular jobs.
Security will not just be heightened during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, but police will also keep a watchful eye on drug dealing, theft and burglary and murder cases.
Anti-riot units, tourism and traffic police, and the police commando unit have been put in charge of the operations and will get additional support from military police and municipal policemen under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
At CentralWorld, where the New Year countdown is held every year, heavy police presence along with support units including sniffer dogs and bomb-disposal teams will be put in place both before and after the event. Rajdamri Road, from Ratcha-prasong to the Pratunam intersection, will be closed from 6pm on December 31 to 1am on January 1.
Telephone booths near CentralWorld will also be kept closed before and during the countdown and the entire area should get a final safety inspection before the countdown party begins at 4pm.
Extra road checkpoints will be erected at key junctions going both into and out of Bangkok from 10pm to midnight and from 1am to 3am at Vibhavadi-Rangsit Highway from the Thupatemee elevated junction, Chaeng Watthana Road, Rama IV Road, and Borromaratchonnani Road from the Chim Phlee elevated junction.