Terrorism fears 'unfounded'

BANGKOK POST:

Russian state tourism agency Rostourism is warning travellers to be extra careful and avoid crowds in Thailand. Deputy PM Prawit (above) says, nonsense. (Post Today photo)

Thai authorities have brushed aside terrorism fears after Russia’s federal agency on tourism told travellers coming to Thailand to exercise great care.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who is in charge of national security, said Thailand is not a target or destination of terrorism.

Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Wednesday night reported that Russian state tourism agency Rostourism had warned Russian tourists in Thailand of potential terror threats and recommended they avoid visiting crowded places.

“The Federal Agency for Tourism recommends that Russians tourists vacationing in Thailand observe precautionary measures; follow the recommendations of the local authorities; stay away from crowded public places; and avoid leaving tourist zones unless it’s an emergency,” Sputnik quoted the agency as saying.

Synchronised attacks on Thailand’s security forces were launched in at least 13 locations in the South on Wednesday, the news agency wrote.

Gen Prawit said the attacks were aimed at stirring up trouble and, while one suspect had been arrested, authorities were investigating to find if any militant group was involved and whether the incidents were related to earlier attacks in the troubled region on April 6.

The Russian embassy in Bangkok, however, denied reports of any warnings and said Russian tourists were still confident in this country as a destination.

“The Russian embassy in Bangkok does not see any direct threat to Russian citizens travelling to Thailand,” it told the Bangkok Post.

“It is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation which has the power to make statements on behalf of the Russian government on foreign policy issues including Russian tourists abroad.

“It is important to emphasise the ministry has not issued any warning this time.”

The growth of a number of Russian tourists travelling to Thailand reflects the attractiveness of the country as a tourist destination and is based on the assumption the situation in Thailand is stable and that security is guaranteed, the embassy said.

“Of course in our turbulent times it is important to be vigilant for tourists wherever they go,” the embassy said.

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