Stay off Bangkok streets, foreign governments say

Published: Monday, January 1, 2007, 14:15 [IST]

Bangkok, Jan 1: Foreign governments urged their citizens in Bangkok to stay indoors after a series of New Years' Eve bomb blasts killed three Thais and wounded nine foreign holidaymakers in the Thai capital.

''There is a possibility of further attacks in coming days.

Australians are urged to avoid unnecessary travel in Bangkok,'' the Australian Embassy said on its Web site (www.austembassy.or.th/).

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombs which wounded 38. But the government appointed after a September 19 coup ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said today intelligence pointed to politicians who had lost power.

''There is uncertainty over the political situation following a military takeover of the government,'' the Australian embassy said, noting that martial law remained in parts of Thailand, including Bangkok.

''You should avoid demonstrations, political rallies and concentrations of military personnel,'' it said.

The attacks occured at the height of the tourist season, but there were no immediate reports of visitors cancelling trips to one of Asia's premier holiday destinations where martial law enforcement has been slight.

Thailand's sun-soaked beaches and bustling capital draws around 12 million tourists a year and account for 6 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

The American and British embassies in Bangkok also urged their citizens to avoid all public gatherings and to remain extra vigilant as they travelled in and around the capital.

''There is a possibility of further attacks in coming days.

British citizens are advised not to travel within Bangkok unless absolutely necessary, until further notice,'' the embassy said on its Web site (www.britishembassy.go.uk)

REUTERS

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