Wednesday, April 28, 2004
"Sh_t Hit the Air Conditioning": Violence in Southern Thailand 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
map courtesy BBC.comThe BBC reports at least 100 suspected Islamic militants are dead in southern Thailand following a series of dawn attacks on security outposts near the Malaysian border. Louis of LDMA'S Life in the Wor Zone is a blogger reporting from the midst of today's violence in Songkhla, Thailand:
"Shit hit the air conditioning today, as a village on the Southern tip of Songkhla was involved in the voilence that erupted in the the 'usual suspect' states of Pattani, Yala, and Naratiwat. Up to 30 people were killed in Pattani when police launched RPGs and teargas into a Mosque where youths were hiding after launching attacks on military bases and police stations with guns and machetes.

According to my mate down in Pattani (sensibly hiding in a Hatyai shopping center), most of the youths involved were local kids as ol' Toxin Shinawatra suggested, but according to locals, Jemaah Islamiah has been offering these kids money and drugs to kick up trouble. The more Toxin buries its head in the sand about this the worse it is going to become." [...]

"This is worrying because for the first time my province has been hit, though the trouble happened in an area right on the edge of Pattani and not in the Buddhist centred part I live in."
Here's keeping our fingers crossed that Louis and the rest of the folks over there are safe for the duration: hope for peace.

UPDATE: Louis reports that his part of Songkhla Town - being a primarily Buddhist area, not close to police outposts or "cop shops" - is fortunately relatively safe for now, but a friend in Pattani is in the area where 30 people are reported killed. More news at LDMA's Life in the Wor Zone.