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3 Muslim Kids Killed In School Attack

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(I can't post in News Clippings forum but I assume it's in Thai media anyway)

3 children killed in Thai school attack

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Three Muslim schoolchildren were killed and seven injured in an attack by suspected insurgents at an Islamic school in restive southern Thailand, police said Sunday.

The attack occurred late Saturday evening at the Bamrungsart Pohnor school, a Muslim boarding school in Songkhla province, said police Col. Thammasak Wasaksiri.

Attackers hurled explosives onto the school grounds and opened fire with assault rifles into the sleeping quarters of the school, Thammasak said.

He said police believe Muslim insurgents staged the attack and hoped to convince local residents that authorities were behind it - a ploy to win villagers over to the insurgents' cause.

Hundreds of Muslim villagers staged a protest Sunday morning, saying they didn't believe that Muslims had staged the attack.

"The villagers are accusing paratroopers of attacking the school," Thammasak said.

Drive-by shootings and bombings occur almost daily in Thailand's three Muslim-majority provinces - Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, and increasingly in the neighboring province of Songkhla.

Though Buddhist teachers have been targeted in the past, children have largely been spared.

The victims of Saturday's violence were identified as a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds.

Injured students, ranging in age from 13 to 17, were being treated for gun wounds and other injuries, Thammasak said.

More than 75 students were in the school's dormitory at the time of the attack.

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SABAYOI, Thailand (AP) -- Attackers hurled explosives and opened fire on an Islamic school in southern Thailand, killing three students and sparking a riot by angry Muslim villagers, officials said Sunday.

Shortly after the attack, three Buddhists were shot dead in the same district, raising fears that a festering insurgency that has already taken more than 2,000 lives could erupt into open combat between the Muslim and Buddhist communities.

Attackers hurled explosives and sprayed dozens of bullets into a dormitory of the Bamrungsart Pondok boarding school, where about 75 boys were sleeping, killing a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds, police Col. Thammasak Wasaksiri said.

Seven other teenagers were wounded in the attack in the Sabayoi district of Songkhla province, he said.

An estimated 500 protesters gathered outside the school, carrying the dead children's bodies through the crowd and setting fire to two buildings at a nearby government-owned school. Some hurled stones at police.

After the school attack, suspected Muslim insurgents stormed a nearby charcoal factory, killing two Buddhist workers and wounding at least two others. Separately, a Buddhist man riding a motorcycle was gunned down.

Thammasak said police believe Muslim insurgents staged the school attack in an attempt to convince villagers that authorities were responsible and win them over to the insurgents' cause.

Villagers, however, refused to believe Muslims were behind the violence and blamed government security forces, he said.

Thai authorities also blamed insurgents for a bombing at a mosque and a grenade attack at a tea shop last Wednesday that killed two Muslims in neighboring Yala province. Those attacks came hours after suspected Muslim insurgents killed eight Buddhist passengers in a commuter van in the same district of Yala, shooting them in the head execution-style.

Thailand is overwhelmingly Buddhist, but the country's far south is predominantly Muslim, and residents of the region have long felt that they are treated like second-class citizens.

The southern Muslim provinces have hundreds of religious Islamic schools, and authorities have accused some of them of harboring insurgents and serving as a training ground for violence.

Lt. Gen. Wirot Buacharun, the army commander in charge of the restive provinces, said security forces had recently raided an Islamic school and confiscated an M-16 assault rifle, bullets, a computer containing suspicious material and other documents believed to be linked to the insurgency.

"This leads us to believe that religious schools are involved with the ongoing violence," he said Sunday, adding that he would urge the government to revoke subsidies for the schools or close some of them.

Drive-by shootings and bombings occur almost daily in Thailand's three Muslim-majority provinces -- Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani -- and increasingly in the neighboring province of Songkhla.

Though Buddhist teachers have been targeted by the violence that flared three years ago, schoolchildren have largely been spared.

Violence in the south has increased since a military-installed government took power in September following a coup that ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thailand's military imposed a curfew in two Yala districts on Thursday. Army spokesman Col. Akara Thiprot said it was the first time a curfew has been imposed in the region since separatist violence surged in January 2004.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070318/ap_on_...uthern_violence

SABAYOI, Thailand - Attackers hurled explosives and opened fire on an Islamic school in southern Thailand, killing three students and sparking a riot by angry Muslim villagers, officials said Sunday.

Shortly after the attack, three Buddhists were shot dead in the same district, raising fears that a festering insurgency that has already taken more than 2,000 lives could erupt into open combat between the Muslim and Buddhist communities.

The Bamrungsart Pondok boarding school was attacked Saturday evening as 75 boys were sleeping. Attackers lobbed explosives and sprayed dozens of bullets into a dormitory, killing a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds, police Col. Thammasak Wasaksiri said.

Seven other teenagers were wounded in the attack in the Sabayoi district of Songkhla province, he said.

An estimated 500 protesters gathered outside the school Sunday, carrying the dead children's bodies through the crowd and setting fire to two buildings at a nearby government-owned school. Some hurled stones at police during the protest, which lasted several hours until a local Muslim leader persuaded the crowd to disperse peacefully, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Paithoon Pattanasophon said.

Thammasak said police believe Muslim insurgents staged the school attack in an attempt to convince villagers that authorities were responsible and win them over to the insurgents' cause. Villagers, however, refused to believe Muslims were behind the violence and blamed government security forces, he said.

Thai authorities also blamed insurgents for a bombing at a mosque and a grenade attack at a tea shop last Wednesday that killed two Muslims in neighboring Yala province. Those attacks came hours after suspected Muslim insurgents killed eight Buddhist passengers in a commuter van in the same district of Yala, shooting them in the head execution-style.

After the school attack, suspected Muslim insurgents stormed a nearby charcoal factory Sunday, killing two Buddhist workers and wounding at least two others. Separately, a Buddhist man riding a motorcycle was gunned down.

Thailand is overwhelmingly Buddhist, but the country's far south is predominantly Muslim, and residents of the region have long felt that they are treated like second-class citizens.

The southern Muslim provinces have hundreds of religious Islamic schools, and authorities have accused some of them of harboring insurgents and serving as a training ground for violence.

Lt. Gen. Wirot Buacharun, the army commander in charge of the restive provinces, said security forces had recently raided an Islamic school and confiscated an M-16 assault rifle, bullets, a computer containing suspicious material and other documents believed to be linked to the insurgency.

"This leads us to believe that religious schools are involved with the ongoing violence," he said Sunday, adding that he would urge the government to revoke subsidies for the schools or close some of them.

Drive-by shootings and bombings occur almost daily in Thailand's three Muslim-majority provinces — Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani — and increasingly in the neighboring province of Songkhla.

Though Buddhist teachers have been targeted by the violence that flared three years ago, schoolchildren have largely been spared.

Violence in the south has increased since a military-installed government took power in September following a coup that ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thailand's military imposed a curfew in two Yala districts on Thursday. Army spokesman Col. Akara Thiprot said it was the first time a curfew has been imposed in the region since separatist violence surged in January 2004.

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This is very bad and will cause many short sighted muslims to join in the insurgency. Why dont the muslims protest when buddhists are killed? Is that what it has come to down there?

How is this situation ever going to end? All scenerios in my mind see it continuing to grow until it eventually reachs bangkok and the tourist destinations....

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Islamics attack their own in red zone to stir up hate, buddhists attacked in retaliation.

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Anti-government protest draws 1,000

By Manop Thip-osod and Wassana Nanuam

Anti-coup groups staged a rally at Sanam Luang on Saturday against the Sept 19 coup, and are to continue their protest today outside the residence of Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda, a key target of the pro-democracy demonstrators.

They allege Gen Prem played an active role in opposing deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and was influential in securing the appointment of current Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered at Sanam Luang yesterday evening to listen to severe criticism of the government and its military backers, given by the groups' speakers.

Those who attended the rally were also asked to sign their names to show their opposition to the ongoing drafting of a new charter to replace the 1997 'people's constitution' that was torn up by the military last year.

''The government has done nothing to reform society over the past six months while it has been in place,'' democracy advocate Sant Hathirat said.

Tomorrow will mark sixth months since the military-led Council for National Security (CNS) brought tanks onto the streets of Bangkok and overthrew the elected Thaksin government.

The CNS claimed it would root out the corruption under the past government, but that corruption still existed today with no sign of it disappearing, the groups said.

Some also took an opportunity to support Mr Thaksin yesterday by showing quotes from speeches given by the ousted premier.

Some raised banners saying ''Thaksin Shinawatra, the democracy premier.''

Group leader Chanakarn Pandermwong called on Gen Prem to tell people that he himself masterminded the move to topple the Thaksin administration through non-democratic means.

Her members will gather in front of Gen Prem's Si Sao Theves residence this evening.

CNS spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said both plainclothed and uniformed officers would stand guard at Gen Prem's Bangkok residence and the nearby Makawan bridge where CNS chairman Sonthi Boonyaratkalin will launch a morality campaign today.

Col Sansern said the demonstration had not troubled the CNS because it was their right to protest.

However, he warned protesters to stay within the law.

The groups said they would hold a ''prolonged demonstration'' again on April 5 onwards until the CNS and its appointed government resigned.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, 300 riot control police were also told to tighten security during an outdoor talk show held by Mr Thaksin's regular critic Sondhi Limthongkul near the landmark statue of heroine Ya Mo.

Meanwhile, after initial hiccups, satellite-based People's Television (PTV) finally started broadcasting yesterday with programmes on news and political commentary criticising the undemocratic role of the CNS.

PTV, founded by former Thai Rak Thai executive Veera Musikapong, has been criticised as a mouthpiece of the former prime minister to counter the present government's work.

The legality of its broadcasts remains in question after the government said it had not been given a licence to go to air

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Thai "palace intrigues" could be very complex and hard to discern from what direct, pragmatic moves would be.

Maybe that's why someone has the internet hose kinked at times.

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My country local malay(malay=muslim people) news reporter said a Thai muslim claim some of the murder case is not isolated with their people. It will done by other and the Thai official just keep blame on the muslim terrorist. The news also said the Thai army keep abuses the muslim on southern Thai which them coming here as a refuge.

KOTA BARU: Border security forces are bracing for a surge in southern Thais crossing into Malaysia in the wake of escalating violence in the Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces, which has left some 30 people dead.

Thai-Malaysia Border Coordination Office director Col Chanwoot Indhulux said Thai security forces were “stretched” currently due to the incidences of violence.

“Our troops have to respond to various forms of violence, from protecting teachers and monks, to dousing fires from arson attacks. They also have to sweep areas suspected of having roadside bombs,” he added.

Col Chanwoot said he hoped Malaysia could help by tightening security to prevent illegal activities along the 1,400km-long border stretching from Perlis to Kelantan.

More Thais are expected to cross into Malaysia to escape the escalating violence in southern Thailand.

Thai Senator Kraisak Choonhavan said both the Thai and Malaysian governments needed to find ways to defuse the situation.

“If the violence escalates, the Thai Buddhists may head towards Bangkok and the Thai Muslims to Malaysia, where they share an affinity in terms of culture, religion and race,” he added.

Pattani-based South-East Asia Maritime State Studies Institute director Dr Worawit Baru said that historically, Thai Muslims did not openly declare their intention to flee the region.

“Usually they do it quietly – they seek refuge with relatives living across the Malaysian border.

“It will be difficult to detect an exodus. The militants, however, would usually stay and fight on,” he added.

Dr Worawit said the exodus may have already begun.

“People may just criss-cross the border and return to southern Thai again if they feel conditions have stabilised,” he added.

Kelantan police chief SAC (I) Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said they would continue to maintain tight security.

A state immigration spokesman said the Thais would likely flee into the country under the guise of migrant workers.

Thai authorities estimate that some 100,000 Thai Muslims had left southern Thailand since 2002 to work in Malaysia.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=...&sec=nation

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