Â * While the jihad rages on….
* Thailand: where ‘Muhammad’ reports, and a Muslim General is to ‘win hearts and minds’
UPDATE: Yala _ Forty-four people were injured, six seriously, in a bomb blast when a huge crowd of customers was buying food at morning market stalls in Muang district early on Tuesday morning.
Those seriously wounded were Suwit Anukul, Watcharaporn Rangsimant, Sukanya Kalankul, Son Kwanchoo, Thanu Ampornpong and Tanawat Kaew-oad.They are being treated at Yala regional hospital.
Police said the bombers parked a motorcycle strapped with explosives in front of one of the food stalls close to SP Copy shop.
The blast destroyed the stalls and shattered glass windows of nearby shops.
A bomb disposal squad cut off mobile phone signals to prevent other bombs being detonated before going in to inspect the blast scene.
Also in Yala, two men identified as Ali Deekasor, 20, and Sudeng Taleh, 43, were arrested separately yesterday for alleged complicity in insurgent attacks in the province.
In Narathiwat, six people were detained as suspects in the bomb attack and ensuing ambush in the province’s Chanae district on Monday, in which eight soldiers in a teacher escort team were left murdered.
The attackers made off with the soldiers’ firearms, including eight M16 assault rifles, an 11mm pistol and an M60 machine gun.
The arrest came after a raid on four houses in the district believed to be where the ambushers had taken shelter.
Forensic tests revealed traces of gun powder on at least three of the six suspects. However, all denied that they had carried out the bomb attack.
Authorities were also scouring the blast scene for more evidence yesterday.
Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng, spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), said the soldiers killed in the blast were not beheaded. Their heads were blown off by the force of the explosion.
The eight soldiers were posthumously promoted and their families provided with cash compensation. They were also awarded special royal decorations for their bravery.
Angkhana Neelaphaijit, chairwoman of the Working Group on Justice for Peace, condemned insurgent groups for Monday’s deadly ambush in Chanae district.
She said in a statement that it was an act of barbarism which had dealt a serious blow to efforts to forge harmony and restore peace in the deep South.
* Muhammadanism is not about ‘harmony & peace’…
Government spokesman Chaiya Yimwilai said the cabinet yesterday approved the extension of the emergency decree for another three months in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, and this would take effect on Sunday.
The decree no longer covers the four districts of Songkhla _ Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi and Saba Yoi_ which border the insurgent-prone areas of the deep South. The districts, however, remain under martial law due to incidents of unrest
* Regarding the usual mainstream media bias in this story, lets set the historical record straight: “The claim that the south of Thailand was ‘annexed by Thailand a century ago’ is WRONG. The Sultanate was destroyed during the Thai war against Burma in the mid 1700s because it had sided with the Burmese against the Siamese. By this time the Sultanate was in decline. The Siamese conquered the area and have ruled it since. And whether they took the land 100 or 250 years ago is beside the point. What right does that give anyone to randomly bomb and kill anyone?” Indeed. And that makes it clear that Thailand was entitled to this land by right of conquest, which has been universally recognized throughout human history — except, of course, when it comes to Israel, and apparently, to any Muslim land that is conquered by non-Muslims.
* Some of the completely false perceptions of jihad, deliberately misunderstood:
“The degree of influence on the insurgents by outside Islamic extremist groups is still a matter of debate, though many experts agree that the rebellion is a homegrown reaction to decades of disenchantment over misrule and discrimination by Thailand’s central government.”
* No one there has the idea that any non-Muslim rule over Muslims is illegitimate and must be resisted violently. Oh, no. It’s all about Thai misrule. Good governments ends jihad, doncha know.
The insurgency flared on Jan. 4, 2004, with a raid by unidentified gunmen on an army weapons depot in Narathiwat in which four soldiers were killed and hundreds of guns were stolen. A government crackdown accelerated the violence, and the region was soon beset with drive-by shootings and small bombings. Most of those killed have been civilians….
Critics of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup, argue that his government exacerbated tensions with a hard-line approach. But the military-installed interim government that succeeded him has done no better after pledging to take a more nuanced approach that would not alienate southern Muslims.
* Yes, he was a real hardliner, old Thaksin was. Those origami were brutal. Brutal!
* And anyway, if it’s all Thaksin’s fault, why is it still going on? The new leader is a Muslim, and the “hardline” tactics, such as they were, are a thing of the past.