By The Nation
Chalermchai visited the downtown Muang district late in the evening on Friday. He was welcomed by Fourth Army Area commander Lt-General Piyawat Nakwanit, Narathiwat deputy governor Thammarong Khongwatmai, Narathiwat police chief Pol Maj-General Manas Siksamat, Captain Nirat Thakudrua, commander of the Navy's Task Force for Narathiwat and the Muang district chief Yayah Panakho.
Chalermchai inspected the permanent checkpoints, which mark the entrance to the Muang district, as well as checkpoints around the safety zone in the inner downtown. The Army has stepped up security in the safety zone and claims the area is free from violent attacks by insurgents.
The safety zone checkpoints are manned by troops, police and civilian volunteers.
Chalermchai told reporters that he had visited the checkpoints to provide moral support to officials there and to grant some allowance to boost their morale.
He said the Fourth Army Area commander had been instructed to step up security during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Army chief stayed overnight in Narathiwat.