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South Thailand Bomb Kills Thai Official

Posted by BigDummyKenny on March 3, 2014

PATTANI, Thailand (Reuters) – Suspected Muslim rebels in southern Thailand killed three soldiers and a district election official in a bomb attack on Sunday as a general election was being held around the country.

Police said the violence was not related to the election that has divided Thailand, with anti-government protesters and the main opposition Democrat Party opposing the vote.

Jatra Promkaew, an election official in Pattani province, was killed along with three soldiers after gunmen fired shots at a security checkpoint and set off three bombs, police said.

“Four people died in an attack carried out by a group of around 20 insurgents,” Pattani chief of police Phot Suaysuwan told Reuters. “The attack was related to ongoing violence in the southern provinces and unrelated to the election.”

Thailand went to vote under heavy security on Sunday in an election that could push the country deeper into political turmoil….

Thailand is a mainly Buddhist country and resistance to central government rule in the Muslim-majority provinces has existed for decades, resurfacing violently in 2004.

The opening of peace talks with rebel groups last year has done nothing to end violence in the south, where more than 5,700 people have died since January 2004.

The three provinces were once part of a Malay Muslim sultanate.  At the time, the Malay Muslim sultanate was making war against the Siamese during the war between Siam and Burma.  Thailand conquered both the Burmese and Malay and the provinces were taken by the Thais by right of conquest.

The “tens of thousands of soldiers and armed Buddhist guards,” moreover, aren’t there out of some gratuitous hatred of Muslims, but because of the jihad that the Muslims there are relentlessly waging against the Thai government, killing 5,700 people since January 2004.


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