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Insurgents in Thailand’s Deep South Undermine Ramadan Peace Initiative

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Insurgents in Thailand's Deep South Undermine Ramadan Peace Initiative

Military authorities in Thailand announced on Friday that a migrant worker from Myanmar was killed in a series of synchronized bombs and arson attacks that occurred overnight, targeting over 40 houses in the country’s troubled Deep South.

According to Lt. Gen. Santi Sakuntanark, the army commander for the southern region, the assaults, which occurred in four provinces, were probably an effort by a new terrorist group to derail a Ramadan peace drive in the region, which is home to a Muslim majority.

Santi said to reporters on Friday that the attackers’ goal was to cause disturbances during Ramadan rather than harm anyone. Shrapnel from an explosion at a petrol station in Mayo district killed a female Myanmarese construction worker, he added.

The following locations in Thailand were the sites of reported incidents: Yala (11), Pattani (20), Narathiwat (7), and Songkhla (2).

In the southern border areas of Thailand, where the majority of the population is Muslim and Malay, there have been separatists fighting for independence for decades.

The local think-tank Deep South Watch reports that since the insurgency re-emerged in January 2004, the region has seen violence that has killed over 7,540 people and injured over 14,000 more.

arson attack Deep South Thailand

After the attacks, Prime Minister Setha Thavisin spoke out for the local population’s safety and ordered the acting head of the national police, Lt. Gen. Kittirat Panphet, to deal with the crisis without delay.

Arson assaults on private buildings, government property, and CCTV cameras in six districts in Narathiwat province began at 1 a.m. on Friday, according to military officials, marking the beginning of the disturbance. A pickup truck ignored a checkpoint and hit a police officer, injuring him but preventing any casualties.

Insurgents attacked convenience stores, private buildings, government structures, and telephone poles in multiple districts of Pattani province with explosives and fire.

Authorities in Yala and Songkhla provinces reported similar arson attacks. Despite the lack of casualties, terrorists in Yala’s Muang district managed to seize and bind two security personnel.

According to Ismael, who was there in the aftermath of an arson assault in Yala’s Bannang Sata District, the people began yelling “fire, fire” at around one in the morning. The scorching flames and subsequent explosions were horrifying.

“Thank goodness nobody got wounded. Several villagers lent a hand in clearing the area of valuables. Who did it remains a mystery to us.

arson attack Deep South Thailand

After resuming peace talks in February, the largest insurgent group in Thailand’s Deep South, Barisan Revolusi Nasional, and Srettha’s administration agreed to a truce for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on March 11.

Human rights campaigner and member of the Special Committee on Southern Border Peace in the Thai House of Representatives Anchana Heemmina stated that the attacks this week highlight the continued gulf between the Thai government and rebel organizations.

She informed BenarNews that this might be seen as a reaction to the unlawful executions on March 14 and a response time with the 20th anniversary of the Tak Bai tragedy.

Many Muslim demonstrators were either shot by police forces or smothered in army trucks during the 2004 Tak Bai incident, which is still considered the bloodiest event in the decades-long war between the Thai government and Malay Muslims.

More recently, on March 14, villagers and civil society groups criticized security forces, claiming they were not serious about ending violence after a joint police and military operation killed two suspected militants in Pattani province.


The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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