RealNews

Thai PM Predicts Violence to Intensify in Muslim-Majority South

Thailand’s premier said he expected violence to intensify in the country’s restive south following the deaths of 78 detained Muslim protestors and a violent backlash by militants. Thaksin Shinawatra, facing criticism in Thailand and overseas for his handling of the crisis, said separatists would increase killings to try to provoke the authorities into a harsh crackdown for “propaganda” purposes. He said that more than 300 non-militants, including government officials, security forces and monks, had been killed since an insurgency in the Muslim-majority south sparked back into life in January. “I am convinced that the violence will be intensified… since the militants want to tempt the government to get angry and adopt a more hash crackdown then they can use it as propaganda in foreign countries,” Thaksin told reporters.”The propaganda will be cited as the pretext for legitimacy of control of the area,” he added. An uprising has flared sporadically for decades in southern Thailand, which used to be part an independent sultanate until it was annexed by Thailand in 1902. Thailand has strongly resisted any calls for autonomy and has built up its forces in the region amid fears of continued unrest since the deaths of 87 people in a riot and its aftermath last week. The majority died after the riot in southern Narathiwat province from suffocation after being rounded up by security forces and piled into trucks, according to government officials. Attacks by militants since the riot have left at least 21 dead, taking the death toll to more than 480 since January when the uprising sparked back into life with a raid on an army camp. Thaksin also called for sympathy for security forces in the south and said they had acted in good faith.Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.