This Virtual Information Center (vic) product represents the opinions of the various authors involved and not the opinions, assessments or positions of the DoD or any other government agency or entity

:)


Download 430.5 Kb.
Date01.11.2017
Size430.5 Kb.

This Virtual Information Center (VIC) product represents the opinions of the various authors involved and not the opinions, assessments or positions of the DoD or any other government agency or entity.


Special Press Summary: Unrest in Southern Thailand

(At top left) http://www.nationmultimedia.com/specials/southBlazed/index.php

(At top right) Major Colonel Saranyu Sangree joins a mass prayer with 500 Thai Muslims in southern Thailand at an army barrack in Narathiwat, 1,140 km (708 miles) south of Bangkok, January 8, 2004. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040108/ids_photos_wl/r1000490854.jpg

(At bottom right) Thai-Muslim school children sift through remains of their classroom at Muang Narathiwat school which was burned down by a group of unidentified assailants in Narathawat, Thailand, Monday, Jan. 5, 2004. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040105/481/nar10101050728



Prepared by: Kelly Mark, VIC (808) 477-3661 Ext. 2900 on 09 January 2004

Special Press Summary: Unrest in Southern Thailand



Executive Summary

1. Assessment: This week’s deadly string of attacks in southern Thailand’s predominantly Muslim provinces (Narathiwat and Pattani), including the burning of 18 schools and raids on military/police installations serves as noticeable ‘wake-up’ call for Bangkok, which has long resisted the suggestion that Islamic separatist groups could or have been responsible for such violence in recent years. Accordingly, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s swift response to declare martial law, including full-scale bilateral coordination efforts with bordering countries (Malaysia and Indonesia) amplifies the government’s precarious position of eliminating terrorism in a Muslim-dominated region. While necessary to sustain peace and order, acknowledging the presence and activity of Islamic separatists groups may prove more of a hindrance to Bangkok’s efforts, further widening the existing gap between the already discontented Muslim population and government authorities. Meanwhile, local community leaders have warned that such heavy-handed action could drive away future tourism and foreign investment opportunities to the area.

2. Summary: On Sunday afternoon, four Thai soldiers were killed when about 30 armed bandits stormed the army depot in Narathiwat, 720 miles south of Bangkok, stealing a cache of 300 weapons including: 300 assault rifles, 40 pistols and two M-60 machine guns. Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said the assailants were possibly aided by someone inside the military’s armory. No one has claimed responsibility for either incidents. Meanwhile, 18 schools in the same area were set on fire using mosquito coils on petrol-soaked sacks. Government-run secular schools have been targeted in the past because they were seen as anti-Islamic by separatist militants. On Monday, two police-men were killed when a bomb they were trying to defuse (planted on a motorcycle parked outside a shopping mall in Pattani) exploded. Meanwhile, another policeman was hurt when an explosion ripped through a police box in a nearby public park. Two more bombs were found and defused in a shopping-mall telephone booth and nearby petrol station. Police Commissioner General Sant Sarutanond said intelligence officers had leant that a group of 12 Muslim terrorists had planned to plant bombs in the four Muslim-dominated provinces as part of an ongoing terror campaign. Attacks on police posts continued until Wednesday. However, following the attacks, the army has offered a reward of Bt1million for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Over the weekend, the Thai government imposed martial law in the three southernmost provinces: Narathiwat and Yala (which border Malaysia), as well as Pattani—dispatching 3,000 troops to the Muslim-majority region. According to officials, key members of the Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani (GMIP), the Barison Revolusi Nasional (BRN), and both the old and new Pattani United Liberation Organization (Pulo) are being closely followed. Government security adviser Kitti Rattanachaya told the media that the attacks were likely carried out by a local separatist group with the help of al-Qaida linked terrorists. As of Thursday, authorities had detained five and questioned 30 people in connection with the attacks. Malaysia has vowed to enforce necessary measures to bar the suspects from fleeing to its territory by dispatching troops to the Thai-Malaysian border following Bangkok’s request. Meanwhile, senior military officials are considering the need to rebuild intelligence networks, in an area of the country where the domestic population are considerably more hostile to authorities. Also, Thailand has asked Jakarta to monitor Thai Muslim students in Indonesia for signs of militancy following the attacks.


3. Prepared by: Kelly Mark, VIC (808) 477-3661 ext. 2900 on 09 January 2004

Special Press Summary: Unrest in Southern Thailand


Table of Contents

PRESS COVERAGE 4

08 January 2004 (Thursday) 4

Thailand Captures More Suspects In Assault On Army Depot 4

KL Responds Swiftly To Call For Assistance 5

Thailand Probes Foreign Links, Seeks Jakarta's Aid 5

Attackers had 'outside help' 5

`Two More Suspects Held In Swoop On Pattani Village 6



07 January 2004 (Wednesday) 6

Rebels Fire Grenades at Police in Thailand 6

New Attack In Southern Thailand 7

Thailand Wakes Up To Southern Threat 7

Thailand Hunts for Gunmen in Latest Attack 7

Thailand Blames Terrorists For Attacks: Malaysian FM 8

Bt1m Reward For Top Suspect 8

06 January 2004 (Tuesday) 9

Muslim Unrest Flares in Thailand 9

Two Police Injured In Fresh Attack On Police Station In Thailand's South 9

05 January 2004 (Monday) 10

Thailand Tightens Security After Attacks in South 10

Thailand Enforces Martial Law In Restive South 10

One Killed, Others Hurt in Thailand Blast 11

Pattani Hit, Martial Law Declared 11


04 January 2004 (Sunday) 11

Four Killed, 18 Schools Burned in Raids-Thai Army 12

Four Thai Soldiers Killed, 18 Schools Torched In Restive Muslim South 13

Assailants Kill Four Soldiers in Thailand 14

Barrack Raided, 20 Schools Torched In South 14

Grief, Fear After Schools Torched In Southern Thailand 14




Special Press Summary: Flooding Catastrophe in the Philippines

PRESS COVERAGE



A senior minister has rejected claims violence in Thailand's Muslim-dominated south was linked to international terror groups while the prime minister confirmed some arrests had been made. Here a Thai policeman during a bomb scare in the south(AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040109/photos_wl_pc_afp/040109085159_oiu5svot_photo0

08 January 2004 (Thursday)

Thailand Captures More Suspects In Assault On Army Depot

Thai authorities have arrested another 30 people in connection with the assault on an army weapons depot, in which four soldiers were killed, and the burning of 21 State schools in Narathiwat. Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister, Chaovalit Yongchaiyudh, said the suspects were arrested in the southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani since Wednesday in a mass operation involving 200 army personnel. "The suspects will be held for up to seven days according to Thailand's martial law. They will be freed if innocent after that," he told reporters here Thursday. He said more suspects were expected to be picked up. On Wednesday, Chaovalit said Thai authorities arrested three people in Pattani in connection with the case. One of them was a former soldier attached at the same army camp which was attacked. Among those arrested Thursday was a 60-year-old religious teacher who was detained at Kampung Pai Kair, Pattani, at 1.40 am local time. Thailand had declared martial law in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat on Monday. In the first incident on Sunday, four Thai soldiers were killed when armed bandits stormed a weapons depot and later set fire to 21 schools in Narathiwat. They also stole dozens of weapons, many of them M-16 assault rifles. The following day two policemen attempting to defuse a bomb in neighboring Yala Province were killed in an explosion. Following this, the Thai Government deployed more than 3,000 troops to the three provinces to stabilize the situation. (Cont)

Source: Bernama


http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=39013

KL Responds Swiftly To Call For Assistance


Kuala Lumpur has responded swiftly to a request from the government for assistance in tracking down those responsible for attacking schools and a military camp in the South. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday he hoped a higher level of intelligence cooperation with Malaysia would lead to the capture of the culprits. ``I called Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi on Sunday night and he agreed to meet us on Tuesday,'' he said. ``Thanks to him, our Special Branch police chief met his Malaysian counterpart on the same day.'' Speaking at Phra Pokklao Institute, Mr Thaksin said the violence in the South should serve as a wake-up call to those overseeing national security. The raid on the military camp, in which four soldiers were killed and a large number of firearms stolen, reflected weaknesses in the system, he said. He denied the attacks were carried out by separatists seeking autonomy.

Source: Bangkok Post



http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/08Jan2004_news14.html

Thailand Probes Foreign Links, Seeks Jakarta's Aid

Thailand is investigating links between a wave of violence in the mainly Muslim south and foreign militant groups and has asked Indonesia to monitor Thai Muslim students for signs of radicalism, officials said on Thursday. As helicopter-borne troops led security sweeps in the restive south, some officials said they were convinced those behind the attacks since Sunday had ties to foreign groups such as Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the Southeast Asian network linked to al Qaeda. The comments were the clearest yet from the government that mainly Buddhist Thailand is facing an Islamic militancy far bigger than previously believed. Officials said the separatist Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani may be behind Sunday's attacks and one of its leaders, Jehbemae Buteh, was believed to be hiding in Malaysia. "We believe Buteh is the leader of the group attacking southern Thailand," Pallop Pinmanee, deputy chief of the Internal Security Operations Command, said in a radio interview. "The National Intelligence Agency received a tip-off in the beginning of December that a group of 200 locally and internationally trained terrorists had entered and started its movement in southern Thailand," Pallop said. General Kitti Rattanachaya, a former army commander in the south and now a government security adviser, said links between militants in the region went back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, when many foreign Muslims joined the mujahideen. (Cont)

Source: Reuters


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040108/wl_nm/security_thailand_dc_1

Attackers had 'outside help'


The government yesterday linked this week's wave of bloody attacks in the South to international terrorist networks and called for Indonesian and Middle Eastern countries help to monitor the activities of Thai Muslim students who it believes may be receiving terrorist training abroad. Government security adviser Kitti Rattanachaya told the Associated Press that the deadly attacks were carried out by a local separatist group with the help of al-Qaida-linked terrorists. The government has for years claimed that ordinary bandits were behind a string of attacks in the Muslim-majority southern pro-vinces. Kitti said the professional manner of the new attacks showed the assailants had outside help, possibly from Kampulan Mujahideen Malay-sia (KMM), which is believed to have ties to al-Qaida-linked regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). "At present, international terrorists are linked together like a network, with al-Qaida at the core," he said. Defence Minister Thamarak Isarangura said some leading local militants might have personal relations with international terrorists. Justice Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana said after a meeting with Indonesia's national police chief, General Da'I Bachtiar, that Jakarta had agreed to keep a close eye on Thai Muslim students attending religious schools in Indonesia to stop them being recruited by terrorist networks. Islamic schools in Indonesia have been accused of propagating fundamentalist ideology and having connections with many leading militants in the region. (Cont)

Source: The Nation



http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.news.php3?clid=1&id=106231&usrsess=1

`Two More Suspects Held In Swoop On Pattani Village

Teacher and neighbor nabbed by soldiers; Bt1m bounty posted for information; Army undertaking live-fire exercises Authorities yesterday detained two more suspects, bringing the total to five, and questioned nearly 30 people in connection with a recent attack that rocked the country's southern-most provinces and humiliated the security agencies. In one operation, two pickup-truck-loads of soldiers swooped on Pattani's Ban Paiman village yesterday afternoon and detained religious school teacher Muhammad bin Haji Wae Sahoh, 44. About two hours later, his neighbor, Sunthi Isma-ae, 45, was brought to Bor Thong district where the Army has set up a command centre. "They didn't explain anything. They just took him away," said Muhammad's wife, Kodiyoh. The 40-year-old mother of five said that armed soldiers arrived at her home yesterday afternoon, marched in without taking their boots off and took Muhammad away. "They pounded on the door and then marched in and ordered him to put his shirt on because he was going with them. I was shocked. We didn't know what to do," she said, adding that Muhammad was the only breadwinner in the family.Authorities said Muhammad was detained in connection with the recent spate of attacks in the deep South that have so-far claimed the lives of four soldiers and two police officers. Three other suspects were earlier detained for questioning at a military camp in Narathiwat. The two new suspects are not big leaders in the group, an official said.

Source: The Nation



http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.news.php3?clid=2&id=106234&usrsess=1

07 January 2004 (Wednesday)

Rebels Fire Grenades at Police in Thailand

Suspected Muslim rebels launched grenades at a police station in southern Thailand on Wednesday in the latest in a series of raids that have left six security troops dead since the start of the new year. There were no casualties in the latest attack, said police Maj. Thani Twibsi. The raiders assaulted with M-79 grenade launchers and machine guns but fled after police fired back, he said. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said three people suspected of involvement in the raid were arrested, but Defense Minister Thammarak Issarangkura na Ayudhaya later told reporters they were only taken in for questioning. Thaksin said insurgents with dual Thai-Malaysian citizenship were responsible for the attacks since Sunday in which 21 schools were razed and six police and soldiers killed. "They are not international terrorists," Thaksin said. "They are terrorists who operate in these areas ... commuting between Thailand and Malaysia." Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun — which border Malaysia — are the only Muslim-majority provinces in predominantly Buddhist Thailand. The provinces witnessed an Islamic insurgency for decades before it died down in the late 1990s. But in a resurgence, attacks over the past two years in the area have killed more than 56 police and soldiers.

Source: Associated Press


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040108/ap_on_re_as/thailand_southern_violence_1

New Attack In Southern Thailand


Gunmen have fired on a police station in southern Thailand in the latest in a series of attacks in the area. One report says two police officers were slightly injured in the incident, which took place in Yala province. Yala is one of three Muslim-dominated provinces in the south where martial law has been declared following a wave of violence since the weekend. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra admitted that the attacks were a "wake up call" for the security forces. Mr Thaksin said in a lecture to students on Wednesday that the violence forced the government to "accept that we underestimated some things". He said the attacks revealed the poor relations between officials and residents and the difficulty of relying on local officials to resolve the problems alone. "It will be a big wake up call for the Thai security system and we must solve the problem systematically. It is a lesson for us," he said. It is unclear who is behind the attacks. The government has resisted the suggestion that Islamic separatist groups long active in the south are organizing them. Mr Thaksin has admitted he thinks one such group, the so-called Mujahideen, was involved, but has said their overwhelming motivation was most likely criminal rather than political. In the latest violence, 10 gunmen opened fire on Haiyaveng police station in Yala province, at 0230 local time on Wednesday (1930 GMT Tuesday). It follows arson attacks on as many as 19 schools and the raiding of a military compound by an armed gang at the weekend. (Cont)

Source: BBC



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3374839.stm

Thailand Wakes Up To Southern Threat

A wave of attacks in southern Thailand has forced the government to change tack from blaming "bandits" to conceding, for the first time in decades, that separatist militants are operating inside the country. The Thai press have seen this as a rare climb-down on the part of the Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, whose government declared martial law in most of the affected region, the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. These three provinces, bordering Malaysia, are home to many Thai Muslims, most of whom are also ethnic Malays. The area is poorer than much of Thailand, and perceived heavy-handed rule from Bangkok led to some Muslim separatist activity during the 1980s. Small-scale attacks on government posts and personnel have continued. But the Thai government always downplayed the threat, a strategy which is now being widely criticised. People will always be [siding] with those who have power. If we are stronger, they will be with us. If [the militants] are stronger, people will be with them General Kitti Rattanachaya, government security adviser. Officials admit that because the area was not declared dangerous, security at an arms depot that was raided was lax, despite recent intelligence that more than 100 potential fighters were moving near the border. By acting immediately and declaring martial law, the military should be able to take control of security in the south. (Cont)

Source: BBC Thai service, Bangkok, By Nualnoi Thammasathien



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3379345.stm

Thailand Hunts for Gunmen in Latest Attack

Security forces using sniffer dogs hunted for gunmen on Wednesday who attacked a police station and injured an officer in the latest violence to hit Thailand's mainly Muslim south. Armed with grenades and assault rifles, 10 gunmen opened fire on a police station in Aye Yerweng in Yala province near the Malaysian border at around 2 a.m. (2 p.m. EST on Tuesday). "We were lucky the gunmen backed off or we would all have been killed," one shaken police officer told Reuters after the 15-minute gun battle. Yala and two neighboring provinces are under martial law after a wave of violence that erupted on Sunday when armed men raided an army depot and stole dozens of weapons, many of them M-16 assault rifles. Nearly two dozen state schools were also torched on Sunday. There was no official comment on radio reports that three people had been detained on Wednesday in connection with the recent violence. Analysts say Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is facing his first real internal security crisis as the attacks ignited fears of a renewed separatist Muslim insurgency in the region. Thaksin, citing the latest Thai intelligence reports, said the attackers were "mainly involved with crime, arms smuggling and narcotics." The region has a reputation for lawlessness, where gunrunners supply insurgents as far away as Sri Lanka and Indonesia's Aceh province. It is also home to Muslim separatist movements who fought a low-scale war in the 1970s and 1980s before taking up a government amnesty offer. (Cont)

Source: Reuters


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040107/wl_nm/security_thailand_dc_4

Thailand Blames Terrorists For Attacks: Malaysian FM


Thailand has informed Malaysia it suspects terrorists were involved in a series of deadly attacks in the south, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar was quoted by the official Bernama news agency as saying. Bernama said Syed Hamid told reporters Thailand "considered the attacks as those of terrorists and not bandits" -- a stand which contradicts most official statements out of Thailand. Syed Hamid held talks with Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai here on Tuesday, when he flew in to brief Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the violence which has claimed six lives since Sunday. Syed Hamid said the "terrorists" were Thai citizens and no Malaysians were involved, adding that the situation could have serious implications if not handled well, Bernama reported. "In the incident people were not only killed but the threat of militancy has emerged in Thailand with the terrorists managing to rob military camps of weapons," he said. Thai officials have repeatedly blamed "bandits" for the violence, although Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Monday implicated Islamic militants "tied to mujahedin". He later said, however, that business conflicts were probably the root of the trouble. A separatist movement has rumbled on for decades in Thailand's mainly-Muslim south, which borders Muslim Malaysia, but most analysts believe the groups have now splintered and would be unable to launch such well-coordinated attacks independently. (Cont)

Source: AFP



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040107/wl_asia_afp/malaysia_thailand_040107071428

Bt1m Reward For Top Suspect

A police forensic expert scours arson-torched Muang Narathiwat School for clues to the culpris yesterday. The authorities have ordered a crackdown on the movements of suspected separatists and extortionists who may have masterminded the attack in the southern provinces that left six officials dead and 20 schools burned as cooperation from Malaysia was sought to prevent their escape, a senior intelligence official said yesterday. Key members of the Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani (GMIP), the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), and both the old and new Pattani United Liberation Organization (Pulo) are being closely followed, an official speaking on condition of anonymity said. The authorities are paying much attention to GMIP’s leading militant Jehbumae Buteh who is the most wanted in connection with several similar incidents on previous occasions, the official said noting the suspect has connections in Malaysia and Indonesia but is currently believed to be hiding in the Kingdom. Police have set a one million baht reward for any information leading to his arrest. GMIP, also known as the Pattani Islamic Mujahideen Movement, is possibly the only significant armed Muslim separatist groups operating in the southernmost provinces of Thailand. The armed struggle pursued by BRN and Pulo petered out by the early 1990s, and currently there are believed to be no more than 70 members hiding in dense jungle between the Thai-Malaysian border. The organisation leaders are in exile but continue to use propaganda measures rather than resort to armed struggle to achieve their objectives.

Source: The Nation



http://www.nationmultimedia.com/specials/southBlazed/index_jan07.php

06 January 2004 (Tuesday)

Muslim Unrest Flares in Thailand

Just as residents of southern Thailand thought the New Year had come peacefully in spite of a holiday terrorism alert, a series of coordinated terror attacks has prompted the government to impose martial law and has renewed fears of resurgent Islamic separatism in the region. On Monday, bombs killed two policemen in the city of Pattani, near the Malaysian border. The attacks followed violence over the weekend in neighboring Narathiwat Province, where arsonists attacked 20 schools and militants raided an armory, killing four soldiers and stealing more than 100 rifles. The unrest casts doubt on the efficacy of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's drive to improve relations and integration between the country's 10 percent Muslim minority and the nation's Buddhist majority. The government - with unusual openness - has blamed Islamic groups for the attacks. While Bangkok has been careful to portray the militants more as bandits than separatists, some observers see the attacks as the latest sign of a latent separatism flaring up again. "What's happening now has never happened before," says Anthony Davis, a Bangkok-based security analyst with Jane's Defence Group. "You've never seen this degree of coordination, planning, and tactical confidence." (Cont)

Source: Oneworld



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20040106/wl_oneworld/4536762441073429531

Two Police Injured In Fresh Attack On Police Station In Thailand's South

Two policemen have been injured during a gun attack on a police station in Thailand's Muslim-majority south, in the latest violence to rock the region. Aiyaweng police station in Yala province's Betong district came under attack by more than ten assailants after officers were lured outside by a phone call telling them of a fire at a nearby bridge, Major Jiarapan Kasemsansuk told AFP. "They attacked the police station in Aiyaweng area of Betong district for about 30 minutes," he said. A policeman at the station told AFP the attackers used M-16 rifles and said two policemen were slightly injured by pieces of shattered cement during the firefight. "Police are now in hot pursuit of the attackers," he added. The attack came as three senior ministers were scheduled to hold a second day of emergency talks with local officials in nearby Pattani province after two days of violence left six people dead in the region. Commander of Pattani provincial police Major General Paitoon Pattanasophon said the assault was not linked to Sunday and Monday's violence, which included a brazen arms heist at an army base, arson attacks on 18 schools and bomb plants. "This morning's situation in Yala was not connected to what happened here. It's another group," he told reporters. Paitoon insisted that the situation had returned to normal in the south and that bandits were to blame. (Cont)

Source: AFP http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040107/wl_asia_afp/thailand_unrest_attack_040107052341


05 January 2004 (Monday)

Thailand Tightens Security After Attacks in South

Thailand has declared martial law in three predominantly Muslim southern provinces after deadly weekend attacks by suspected gunrunners facing a government crackdown on illegal arms, officials said Monday. Gunmen killed four soldiers during a raid on an army weapons depot Sunday and 21 schools were burned down in Narathiwat province, about 720 miles south of Bangkok. Officials blamed the attacks on Thai and Malaysian arms dealers, helped by "insiders," seeking to replenish stocks lost to the government's war on illegal arms. The attackers got away with hundreds of weapons. "We were reluctant to enforce it for fear of affecting peoples' freedom," Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters Monday, referring to martial law. The government declared martial law, which allows the military to search homes and detain suspects without charge, in Narathiwat and the neighboring provinces of Yala and Pattani. Thaksin said the government would explain the need for martial law in the area and enforce it as gently as possible. Thaksin launched a war on the illegal arms trade in December after declaring victory in a year-long campaign against drugs in which more the 2,000 suspected dealers were killed. After decades of war and insurgencies in neighboring countries, Thailand became the center of a covert arms trade that still supplies rebels as far away as Indonesia and Sri Lanka, security analysts say. Much of the trade has occurred in southern Thailand, where a low-level Muslim separatist war rumbled in the 1970s and 1980s but petered out a decade ago. (Cont)

Source: Reuters, By Trirat Puttajanyawong http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040105/ts_nm/thailand_attacks_dc_1


Thailand Enforces Martial Law In Restive South

Thailand clamped martial law on its troubled south following a deadly arms heist and arson attack which re-ignited security concerns in the majority Muslim provinces, where a separatist rebellion has simmered for years. "We will now enforce our martial law to search for the weapons," Interior Minister Wan Muhamad Nor Mata told reporters, referring to the more than 100 assault rifles stolen in a pre-dawn Sunday raid by dozens of assailants who killed four soldiers and torched 18 schools. The ruling affects the provinces of Narathiwat and Yala, which border Malaysia, as well as neighboring Pattani province. The attack was the worst act of violence in southern Thailand since last July, when five policemen and a civilian were killed and three police officers were wounded by masked gunmen. Several areas of the five southernmost provinces deemed among the least stable have been under nominal martial law for years, prompting regular criticism by religious leaders there. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra blamed Sunday's assault on "professionals with experience in this kind of violence," and maintained his line that bandits involved in arms smuggling were responsible. But he also warned that outside influences were at work, citing Islamic militants, although he denied the gunmen were linked to separatists. "There are connections with the outside, from Aceh (the restive Indonesian province)," Thaksin said. "The bandits are involved with Thailand and Malaysia .... Some of them are tied to mujahedin."

Source: AFP



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040105/wl_asia_afp/thailand_unrest_040105080111

One Killed, Others Hurt in Thailand Blast

Two bombs exploded Monday in the town of Pattani in southern Thailand, killing one policeman and injuring several people, police said. The first explosion ripped through a police box in a public park, killing one policeman and injuring another, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The other explosion took place at a shopping mall in downtown Pattani, said another police officer, also speaking on condition of anonymity. No other details were available. The explosions came a day after unidentified assailants set fire to 21 schools and raided a military armory in southern Thailand, killing four soldiers on Sunday. The government blamed Islamic separatist insurgents for the attacks.

Source: Associated Press


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040105/ap_on_re_as/thailand_explosions_1

Pattani Hit, Martial Law Declared


Police bomb specialists defuse an explosive device found under a bridge in tambon Bang Por of Narathiwat's Muang district hours after the school torchings. The government imposed martial law in the three southernmost provinces yesterday as a second day of suspected separatist-inspired violence claimed the lives of two policemen in Pattani. The Army dispatched 3,000 troops to the three Muslim-majority provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, where 20 public schools were torched and four soldiers were murdered on Sunday. A fuming Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra blamed Muslim separatists for the attacks after initially labeling Sunday's incidents the work of common bandits. He said the Sunday attacks - which included a raid by about 60 armed men on an army camp in Narathiwat - were a well-coordinated operation. The premier blamed the assault on the Mujahideen Islam Pattani, one of several Muslim separatist groups accused of killing about 50 police officers over the past three years. He also lambasted the Army for incompetence, going as far as to say the murdered soldiers deserved to die. "If you have a whole battalion there and you're still negligent, then you deserve to die," Thaksin said. Defence Minister Thamarak Isarangura authorized Fourth Army Region commander Lt-General Phongsak Aekbansingha to place six districts in Narathiwat, three districts in Yala and four districts in Pattani under martial law. (Cont)

Source: The Nation



http://www.nationmultimedia.com/specials/southBlazed/index_jan06.php

04 January 2004 (Sunday)

Thai vocational students help dismantle a school building which was burned down by unidentified assailants last week at Muang Narathiwat school in Narathiwat, Thailand, Friday, Jan. 9, 2004. Al-Qaida-linked terrorists helped a Muslim insurgency carry out audacious attacks on 21 schools and security forces in southern Thailand, the country's new security adviser told The Associated Press. It was the first acknowledgment by a senior Thai official that foreign militants have helped local separatists stagehit-and-run attacks over the past two years, resulting in the killings of 56 police and soldiers. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040109/481/nar10501090445

Four Killed, 18 Schools Burned in Raids-Thai Army

Four Thai soldiers were killed when robbers stormed a weapons depot and 18 schools were burned down in a series of attacks in a predominantly Muslim province in southern Thailand, the army said on Sunday. Colonel Somkuan Saengpattaranetr told Reuters about 30 armed bandits attacked the army depot in Narathiwat, 720 miles south of Bangkok, around 1:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. EST) on Sunday. "They killed four guards and ran away with some rifles and pistols," Somkuan said. "We don't know who they are. We are investigating that." Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's cut short a beach holiday to call an urgent meeting with security agencies to assess the situation, chief government spokesman Jakkrapob Penkhair told Reuters. A state-run MCOT radio quoted an education official in Narathiwat as saying most schools were set on fire by mosquito coils put on petrol-soaked sacks. The fires, all early on Sunday, could not be extinguished because nails planted around the schools stopped fire brigade vehicles from getting close enough, Pirach Saengthong was quoted by the radio as saying. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the fires. Security agencies usually blamed previous attacks in five southernmost provinces -- Songkhla, Satun, Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, bordering Malaysia -- on bandits who once wanted to turn the area into a separate Muslim state. But the majority of separatists were now extortionists or gangsters running illegal businesses along the porous mountainous Thai-Malaysian border, the agencies say. (Cont)

Source: Reuters


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040104/wl_nm/thailand_attacks_dc_1

Fire rages through a two-story school building in Narathiwat province, 1150 km (715 miles) south of Bangkok, in early hours of January 4, 2004. The school is one of 18 schools in the province set on fire in a series of attacks in the predominantly Muslim province. Four Thai soldiers were also killed when robbers stormed a military weapon depot in the province, which took place at a similar time of the school attacks. Security authorities blamed the attacks on arms suppliers who were seeking weapons to replenish stocks emptied by the government's war on illegal arms. THAILAND OUT REUTERS/Str



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040104/ids_photos_wl/r2388353569.jpg

Four Thai Soldiers Killed, 18 Schools Torched In Restive Muslim South

Unidentified assailants stormed a military compound early Sunday and shot dead four soldiers while also burning 18 schools in the worst unrest in Muslim-majority southern Thailand in months, police say. "A group of 30 armed men launched a series of three attacks in nine districts of two provinces in southern Thailand early Sunday morning," army spokesman Colonel Somkuan Saengpattaranetr told AFP. The killings occurred when several of the attackers raided a military base in the province of Narathiwat, which borders Malaysia, and stole a cache of weapons, the colonel said. Somkuan could not specify the number of weapons stolen but Thai media reports put it at about 100 guns. No one was injured in the burning of the 18 schools, 16 of which are in Narathiwat and two in neighboring Yala province. Two police checkpoints were also torched in the attack, Somkuan added. A major search operation was launched, with authorities contacting counterparts in Malaysia to seek cooperation on border hunts. Thailand's five southern Muslim majority provinces have been plagued in recent years by small-scale Muslim separatist violence and what Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has fingered as attacks led by criminal elements protecting lucrative arms smuggling operations. The region was wracked by a spate of violence in 2001 and 2002 during which more than 20 policemen were killed, trains bombed, government offices attacked and weapons depots raided.

Source: AFP


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040104/wl_afp/thailand_unrest_040104073422

Assailants Kill Four Soldiers in Thailand


Assailants set fire to 18 schools and stormed a military armory, killing four soldiers in nearly simultaneous raids in southern Thailand on Sunday, an official said. Government officials have described the perpetrators variously as Muslim separatists, bandits and criminals. Sunday's raid at the armory in Narathiwat province was the most daring in recent months and prompted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to call an emergency meeting of top security officials. Narathiwat is one of four Muslim-majority provinces in Thailand, which is predominantly Buddhist. The south has seen a surge of attacks on government targets in recent years, and more than 50 soldiers and policemen have been killed. Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said the assailants apparently were aided by someone inside the military camp where the armory is located. Four soldiers guarding the armory were killed and a large number of weapons were stolen. Thailand's army radio station said two of the soldiers were shot in the head, one had his throat slashed with a knife and the fourth suffered blows to the head. Military spokesman Lt. Gen. Phalangun Krahan said the raiders took 103 assault rifles. However, the state-run Thai News Agency quoted unidentified sources as saying the attackers fled with 300 assault rifles, 40 pistols and two M-60 machine guns. Army spokesman Col. Somkhuan Saengpatranet about 30 people took part in the attack, which occurred at about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Source: Associated Press, By Sutin Wannabovorn



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040104/ap_on_re_as/thailand_violence_1

Barrack Raided, 20 Schools Torched In South

Unidentified attackers simultaneously torched 20 schools and killed four soldiers while stealing more than 100 guns from an Army camp in this southernmost province early yesterday. The well-coordinated terror campaign appears to be a major signal of defiance against authorities at the beginning of the year. Arsonists slipped into 20 schools in 10 out of the 13 districts in Narathiwat province at about 1.30am yesterday and set fire to the buildings. They also torched two unmanned police posts. Five of the schools were razed, police and local military officials said.At about the same time, a group of gunmen attacked the armoury at the non-combat Narathiwat Rajanakarin Army camp in Joh Airong district, where they shot four soldiers dead before escaping with more than 100 assault rifles and pistols.Some 60 attackers stormed into the camp's arsenal through the back door where security was lax, 4th Army Region Commander Lt-General Phongsak Aekbansingh said.

A military source said the arms depot was a target because Narathiwat Rajanakarin camp was a non-combat unit under the Army's 4th Army Engineers Battalion. There were also fewer soldiers at that time as many of them had travelled to neighboring Phattalung province to attend the funeral of Sgt-Major Mit Klaharn, one of the two Thai soldiers killed in the recent attack in Iraq, a source said. The source said he believed that the attack was coordinated by three separatist groups - the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo), the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) and the Mujahideen. (Cont)

Source: The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/specials/southBlazed/index_jan05.php

Grief, Fear After Schools Torched In Southern Thailand

Students and teachers have reacted with grief, disbelief and fear over a series of violent arson attacks on at least 18 schools in majority-Muslim southern Thailand. Residents in Narathiwat and Yala provinces bordering Malaysia whose schools were targeted by the raiders said they were stunned by the attacks, which left at least five schools razed to the ground. The schools assault was described by a government official as a decoy in a well-coordinated arms heist that left four soldiers dead. There were no fatalities in the school fires as they were set before dawn Sunday. "Our morale is almost gone. All teachers who arrived at the scene wept," Chuenjit Chokedee, an assistant director at Muang Narathiwat School, told the Nation newspaper. Fire set by the assailants reportedly destroyed the kindergarten to fourth grade classrooms at the school, where 95 percent of the 651 students are Muslim. "The culprits have destroyed the future of their own children," she said. The school's director, Suthin Iadnusorn, said students and teachers were shocked and shaken by what transpired. "Such attacks are inhumane," he was quoted as saying. "Those who did it have left local people, their (the attackers') relatives, to suffer." The five southern provinces have been plagued in recent years by small-scale Muslim separatist violence, but recent attacks have been blamed on bandits and criminals protecting lucrative arms smuggling operations. (Cont)

Source: AFP



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040105/wl_asia_afp/thailand_unrest_schools_040105054612









This Virtual Information Center (VIC) product represents the opinions of the various authors involved and not the opinions, assessments or positions of the DoD or any other government agency or entity




Share with your friends:
:)


The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2019
send message

    Main page

:)