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Muslims Kill 20 Muslims In Latest Thai Attacks

From their allies at Al Jazeera:

A Thai volunteer rushes an injured boy to hospital following a bomb blast in which a soldier was killed in Thailand’s restive southern Yala province. Islamic separatists could stage more “terrorist” attacks, Thailand has warned, after nine people were killed in overnight strikes as many Thais began celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Fears of more bombings in Thailand

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thailand’s army chief of staff has warned that there could be more attacks after a wave of shootings and bombings in the Muslim-majority south of the country left at least 10 people dead and more than 50 injured.

Dozens of bombings hit hotels, homes, karaoke parlours, power grids and commercial sites late on Sunday.

A Thai army officer was killed and three police injured in two further bombings early on Monday.

"The violence may increase, and it will be the same kind of terrorist tactics," General Montri Sangkasap said after an emergency security meeting with the military-appointed government in Bangkok.

Elsewhere in the south three Thais of Chinese descent were shot dead in Pattani province as the Chinese community ushered in the Lunar New Year.

Surayud Chulanont, the prime minister, insisted that no more troops were needed in the region, saying instead that he would pursue his "hearts and minds" campaign to win over the population.

"Our work now needs to focus on building co-operation between government officials and the people, to get rid of their apprehension of authorities," he said.

The latest violence came just two days after Surayud said his the government wanted to hold talks with Muslim separatist fighters.

Selina Downes, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Bangkok, said: "Up until now the attacks in the south have been very ad hoc, we haven’t seen any sort of co-ordinated rebellion and this has made it very difficult for the Thai authorities to know who is behind the attacks and how to do deal with it."

Colonel Wichai Thongdaeng, a military spokesman, said extra security forces had been deployed across the region amid warnings that more attacks are possible.

He said it was difficult to prevent further attacks as "we don’t know where the rebels will strike".

The attacks mainly targeted homes and businesses owned by Buddhists or ethnic Chinese in the four Muslim-majority provinces in Thailand’s south, army officials said.

"They want to frighten Buddhists and ethnic Chinese living there so that they will leave the region," Colonel Acar Tiproch, an army spokesman, said.

More than 2,000 people have died in attacks in the region since violence first erupted in 2004.

The Muslims won’t even let the Thailand government surrender to them.

Luckily, as the BBC has assured us, this has nothing to do with religion.

It’s all about economics.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 19th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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