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Thailand arrests four Islamic teachers for "terrorism" in south

Thai authorities have arrested four Islamic teachers accusing of masterminding “terrorism” in the kingdom’s violence-racked south. The four, detained in sweeps on Tuesday and Wednesday in the south, were charged with treason and terrorism which carry the death penalty, the Southern Border Provinces Peace-Building Command said.Its head General Sirichai Tanyasiri told AFP the four, all of whom taught at private Islamic schools in Yala province, would be flown to Bangkok on Friday to appear before a criminal court. “There suspects are key mastermind figures, especially Waeyuso Waedoramae who ordered the theft of government firearms and the attacking of government officials as well as innocent civilians,” the command said in a statement from Yala. Witnesses also confirm that Waeyuso was the man who ordered arson attacks on 36 government schools in 1993, it added. A fifth suspect, identified as an Islamic school headmaster, escaped the sweeps but a warrant was issued for his arrest. More than 560 people have been killed this year in the Muslim-dominated south of the mainly Buddhist country. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said the detainees were linked to a “separatist organisation,” believed to be part of an extensive network of insurgents and ringleaders.”We have clear evidence which will explain the overall picture,” he told reporters.Full Story

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