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  • » 06/09/2009, 00.00


    Thailand, fresh violence in the south. Victims from the Mosque attack now 12

    Weena Kowitwanij

    Rebels have attacked diverse areas on Yala province. Police officials denounce attempts to “spark conflict between the Buddhist and Muslim communities”. Thailand and Malaysia ready to cooperate to resolve the issue of Islamic separatism.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Bomb attacks, bins set on fire and streets barricaded, entire areas under attack: voice and unrest in the south of Thailand continue and this morning erupted in the province of Yala.  Yesterday an armed command raided a mosque in Jawairong district of Narathiwat province, killing 12 people including the imam; 17 were injured, 11 of whom are in a serious condition.

    This morning at 8 am local time a bomb exploded at an oil depot near the Yala transport company terminal in Muang district; two people were wounded in the attack.  Three schools in the district of Raman –Yala – were closed down for security reasons.  In many areas throughout the province the insurgents have started fires and blocked traffic.

    Yesterday evening in Jawairong, Narathiwat province, an armed gang of six men raided a mosque during evening prayer, and laid waste to worshippers. The gang opened fire killing 12 of the 100 people who were gathered in prayer at the moment of the attack.  Among the death was Imam Waelau Woowaekama head of the Ipayae community.  Major Gen Therachia Nakawanich, described the incident as “outrageous”; “We believe the criminals are aiming to create conflict between the Thai-Buddhist and Thai-Muslim communities within the area”.

    Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, on a state visit to Malaysia, has announced “a special 3-year economic program to develop the area”. Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, says they “are ready to cooperate” with the Thai government “to resolve the issue”.  Under discussion is a project sponsored by Malaysia to provide “additional professional training to Muslims so they return to their homeland with to earn their living and contribute to the local economy”.

    3400 people have died in years of attacks and unrest in the southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, all majority Muslim in a Majority Buddhist nation.  Islamists want autonomy from Bangkok.  The rebellion is also a result of former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s harsh policies enacted in the south to quash the insurgents.  Emergency rule favoured army and police abuse of power, while the government, to date, has failed to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

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    See also

    15/05/2015 THAILAND
    Thailand, return of Malay separatist violence: bomb attacks leave18 injured
    Military sources speak of 14 explosions overnight, followed by three more in the early hours of the morning. The attacks are the guerrillas "retaliation" for policies recently introduced by the Thai junta, including DNA testing. The war in the south has so far caused 6,500 victims, most of them civilians.

    15/01/2008 THAILAND
    Bomb wounds 27 people in Southern Thailand
    The bomb strapped to a motorbike was exploded in the precinct of the crowded Yala market. Yesterday 8 soldiers were killed in an ambush on army troops, one of them beheaded. Since 2004, violence in the south has claimed over 2800 lives.

    02/08/2006 THAILAND
    Southern Thailand: nearly 100 coordinated attacks overnight

    Government and civil targets were struck. This morning, another attack killed three policemen. Islamic separatists are suspected.

    04/11/2008 THAILAND
    At least 60 injured by two bombs in Narathiwat
    More violence in the Muslim majority southern provinces. Since 2004, more than 3,000 have been killed.

    14/06/2007 THAILAND
    Thirteen schools are set ablaze in the south, Islamic extremists are blamed.
    In the majority Islamic area, violence is concentrated against schools and teachers. As the situation worsens authorities fear attacks on tourists in the north.

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