Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra expressed concern on Tuesday over the violence in the southern provinces after bomb attacks at eight locations in Yala on two consecutive days killed one person and wounded 30 others.
Yingluck, as caretaker defence minister, said she has instructed the armed forces chiefs to seek measures to protect the general public as well as economic zones.
She told the agencies concerned to urgently help those who were affected by the Yala bombings. Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok was assigned to visit the southern provinces soon to inspect the situation. Meanwhile, caretaker Deputy Defence Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha sad he would visit Yala shortly to follow up the situation.
Gen Yuthasak said that he believed the attacks by insurgent groups in Yala were aimed at challenging the army after the reshuffle of commanders.
In the midyear army reshuffle, Lt Gen Walit Rojanapakdi, commander of the 1st Army Corp, was appointed 4th Army Region commander, replacing Lt Gen Sakol Chuentrakul.
National Security Council Secretary General Paradorn Pattanatabut said the insurgents normally intensified their attacks during April as a symbolic violent attack calling attention to the anniversary of the Krue Se mosque incident.
Lt Gen Paradorn said the change of 4th Army Region commander may have led the insurgents to test the newly appointed chief as well as government policy.
The suspended peace talks may be a factor, he added, saying that the unstable political situation has affected attempts to solve the problems in the southern provinces, leading to changes in policy and budget.