One dead, two wounded in Narathiwat insurgent attack

PHOTO: Defence olunteers survey the site of a clash with rebels - Naew Na

An insurgent is dead and two defence volunteers wounded after a clash in the the southern border province of Narathiwat on Sunday. Police reports indicate a group of insurgents attacked a defence volunteer outpost in the Sukhirin district just before noon, injuring two. Reinforcements rushed to the scene and fired on the fleeing gunmen who headed for the nearby woods.

One guerilla, identified as 29 year old Abdulhadi Arbu Daoah, was shot dead. Other insurgents fled into the jungle. Despite some positive signs over the last 16 years, there has been little progress in talks between the government and the mainly Muslim insurgents in Thailand’s restive deep south.

The insurgency originated in 1948 as an ethnic and religious separatist movement in the historically Malay Patani region, which comprises what are now Thailand’s southernmost provinces, but it has become more complex and violent since early 2000s, due to drug cartels, oil smuggling networks and sometimes even pirates.

Since 2004, at least 7085 people have been killed and more than 13,000 injured in literally tens of thousands of violent incidents. Among the victims are teachers, monks and children, both Buddhist and Muslim.

While the number of such incidents per year is declining, their severity is on the rise.

Fifteen people were killed in an attack on a village defence checkpoint Yala province late last year, the most violent security checkpoint attack in over a decade.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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