~Meaw & More~

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Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Back to the Southern Border

While the country has been focusing or make to focus on Preah Vihear and whether Nopadol Patthama has abuse his authority as Foreign Minister, Bangkok Post published a report:

SOUTHERN UNREST

M’sian FM vows further help to try to end violence
THAI NEWS AGENCY, ISARA NEWS CENTRE & WAEDAO HARAI

Visiting Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim yesterday pledged that his government would continue to assist Thailand to end the violence which has plagued the South for over four years, said Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Somchai Wongsawat.

Mr Somchai said the assurance was made during his 45-minute meeting with the Malaysian foreign minister who is making a three-day introductory visit to Thailand, which began on Tuesday.

The two countries are members of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Thanking Malaysia for being a good neighbour and sharing a common border with Thailand, Mr Somchai said the Thai government’s policy is for peace, because if a neighbour has a problem, the countries cannot live in peace.

Some 3,150 people have been killed in the South by insurgents since renewed violence began in January 2004.

Mr Somchai said he also thanked the Malaysian government through Mr Rais for offering 60 scholarships to Thai students to further their studies in Malaysia.

Violence in the deep South has dropped by over 50% in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, according to statistics released by the Isara News Centre.

The centre said a total of 526 attacks in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla were reported in the first six months of this year, down more than 50% from 1,135 in the first half of 2007.

The statistics also showed the death toll had fallen over the past six months.

In the first half of last year, 417 people were killed, but this number fell to 301 during the past six months.

Out of the 301 deaths, 268 were government officials and civilians while the rest were identified as insurgent suspects.

Among the 517 injured, 514 were government officials and civilians while three were insurgent suspects.

The centre also released an overall death toll for southern violence, which now stands at 3,150 since it broke out in Narathiwat in January 2004.

January was the bloodiest month of the past six months of this year as 120 attacks took place with 195 people killed and wounded.

In the second half of last month, Yala was hardest-hit with 17 violent attacks, followed by Pattani and Narathiwat. Drive-by shootings and bombings were the most common forms of attack.

In Narathiwat, a villager was shot dead as she travelled home in Rueso district yesterday.

Police said the dead woman was Wanna Seesuan, 27.

Wanna was riding a motorcycle home after dropping her children off at school when a pillion rider on another motorcycle shot her in the head.

Before speeding off, the gunmen left a note near the body saying they had carried out the killing to avenge the ill-treatment of Muslims.

Police believed a local militant network was behind the deadly shooting. (emphasis mine)

But wouldn’t it be to quick to pinpoint that apart from state official and civilians casualties “while the rest were identified as insurgent suspects.”

I would like to blog someday about underprivileged, unlawful, civilians engaged in combat support. It could be deadly.

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