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Ban on Drone Flight in Southern Regions

Ban on Drone Flight in Southern Regions

The use of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has been prohibited by security authorities in the southernmost border provinces and parts of Songkhla province. This action comes in response to intelligence reports indicating insurgents are training to utilize UAVs for bombing military installations in the region.

Isoc Region 4 has issued a comprehensive ban on the operation of any “drone-like aerial devices” in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat provinces, and in specific districts of Songkhla province, which include Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi.

The prohibition explicitly states that drone flying is strictly forbidden over premises controlled by security agencies, local authorities, police, and the military, including their use for surveillance and monitoring activities targeting security bodies.

Strict enforcement of this ban will be carried out, as declared in the Isoc announcement dated June 18. Offenders may face up to two years in prison and/or a fine of 40,000 baht.

Reports from Isra News Agency have suggested that insurgents in the south have been practicing the deployment of drones to drop pipe bombs on military posts. This information was attributed to intelligence data collected by a specialized unit of the 48th Ranger Regiment.

Allegedly, two insurgent leaders named Kriangkrai and Issama-ae had sought out drone experts in a neighboring country to instruct their members in Cho Airong district of Narathiwat on operating drones carrying payloads equivalent to a pipe bomb’s weight. Training for this purpose began approximately two months ago.

It is believed that the insurgents intend to utilize drones to strike security outposts in the deep South, particularly in areas lacking tree cover or where significant military presence exists. Outposts in Cho Airong and Sungai Padi districts are seen as potential targets.

As a precautionary measure, all military units have been put on high alert. Those situated in vulnerable zones have been directed to heighten surveillance efforts and remain vigilant against any potential attacks of this nature.

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