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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 07:53 GMT
Bangkok on alert after bombings
Thai soldiers on streets of Bangkok - 2/1/07
Bangkok's residents have been urged to avoid crowds
Security has been stepped up in the Thai capital, Bangkok, as thousands of people return to a city still reeling from Sunday's deadly bomb blasts.

There is a heavy police presence at bus and train terminals as well as the new airport, as crowds of people come back from New Year breaks.

The military government is anxious about any repeat of the eight explosions which hit on New Year's Eve.

Those bombs killed three people and injured more than 30 others.

No-one has admitted responsibility for the blasts.

But the government has hinted that it believes elements loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a September coup, may be to blame.

Future attacks?

The people of Bangkok felt shaken by the news of Sunday's bombs.

They are unaccustomed to violence, living in a country that is traditionally seen as one of the safest in Asia.

The perpetrators wanted to have a political impact and make Thai people feel political instability
Surayud Chulanont,
Prime Minister

The attacks could also impact on the economy, although the extent of the damage will remain unclear until the nation's stock exchange opens on Wednesday.

Despite the heightened security presence, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has admitted that he faces an uphill task, acknowledging that it is easy to build bombs and difficult to prevent attacks.

Bangkok's governor and several foreign embassies have been encouraging people to stay at home and avoid moving about, especially in areas where there will be large crowds.

But so far, few people seem to have heeded their advice, and life appears to be getting back to normal.

Tourism officials are bracing themselves for a downturn, but so far they have reported no immediate cancellations in the wake of the blasts - good news for a country heavily dependent on the tourist industry.

"I am not afraid of the bombs," said American tourist, 30-year-old Kathryn Vigna. "If I am afraid, they will get what they want which is to scare people."

Even Paul Hewitt, a Briton who was injured by one of the explosions, told reporters: "I can't see why this would deter me from coming back."




SEE ALSO
Hunt for clues after Bangkok blasts
01 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Bangkok blasts leave three dead
01 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Bangkok blasts
31 Dec 06 |  In Pictures
Britons injured in Bangkok blasts
31 Dec 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Thailand
02 Oct 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Thailand
03 Oct 06 |  Country profiles



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