Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Attacks Intensify In South Thailand

According to BBC News: Thailand Justice Minister Chidchai Vansathidya disclosed the insurgents in the south have intensified attacks to take advantage of the political crisis in Bangkok. More than 100 schools have closed for the week in the province of Yala after three teachers were shot and seriously injured.

Since the latest wave of violence began in the Muslim-majority south two years ago, separatist rebels have attacked Buddhist teachers at local schools.

He admits teachers are now a soft target for insurgents. They, together with monks and police, are considered symbols of the Bangkok government. The army has moved to provide them with better protection as they travel to and from their schools.

Last Friday Feb 3, 2006, three teachers were shot and injured as they waited for military officers to escort them home. Despite the school closures, another Buddhist teacher was shot and killed on Tuesday Feb 7, 2006 morning in Yala.

On Monday Feb 6, 2006, suspected militants killed two police officers and a defence volunteer in the market in Yala.

The justice minister described the attacks as opportunistic and linked to demonstrations against the prime minister in the capital.

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