Thailand's government has extended a long-established state of emergency in its three insurgency-plagued southernmost provinces.
The emergency decree extended for three months Tuesday gives security forces special powers of arrest and detention in the Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani. More than 5,000 people have been killed there since 2004.
Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa said authorities wanted to keep monitoring the situation while a new security policy was launched. He said government agencies want to retain the law even though violence has subsided in some areas.
Researcher Srisompob Jitpiromsri said the repeated extension of the law indicated the government's incompetence in solving the southern violence.