Thailand: The Jungle Walls Are Closing In

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August 21, 2009: The government has managed to halt the Islamic terrorists in the south by taking advantage of time and impatience. The Islamic radicals claimed that they would establish an Islamic republic in the south and improve the lives of Moslems. This is not happened, and the Moslems down south are unhappy with that. The Buddhist Thais are still in charge, after five years, and the Islamic radicals are killing more and more Moslems. The Thais have been bringing in more village level economic programs, while the Islamic terrorists demand money and goods from villagers to support the continued violence. You can see where this is going. The trends are all against the Islamic radicals, as the violence rates decline and the local economy grows.

In the south, two soldiers were wounded after their patrol was ambushed, and the attackers were driven off. The growing number of patrols, and increasingly aggressive use of them, has forced the Islamic radicals to fight or flee. This has led to more of the terrorists moving to the Malay border area, which is heavily forested. The rural villages that used to provide (often involuntary) support for the terrorists, are now occupied full time by the army. The troops organize self-defense militias from the local Moslem population, which makes it difficult for the terrorists to use these villages at all. The army rangers then establish aggressive patrolling near the Moslem villages, forcing the terrorists further away.

In nearly six years of violence, there have been over 8,800 terrorist related violent incident, and 3,500 deaths. There are believed to be about 8,000 Moslems carrying out the violence, and (mostly) providing support. The government has brought down up to 90,000 additional troops and police to the south, and recruited nearly as many local defense volunteers.

In the south, a village chief was shot dead as he was entering a Mosque.

August 20, 2009: The commander of a Thai air base sent a letter of apology to Cambodia, apologizing for several recent recon flights that strayed into  Cambodian territory. The Cambodians accepted the explanation that bad weather had caused aircraft navigation gear to fail.

August 16, 2009: In the south, Islamic terrorists attacked a village chief and village defense volunteer, and exchanged fire with the two before both were killed.

August 9, 2009: In the south, two Moslem village chiefs were killed by gunmen. Attacks like this are often blamed on the military, as well as the Islamic terrorists. You have to know the victims to know who the probable killers were. If the victims were helping with counter-terror operations, they were killed by Islamic terrorists, in an attempt to force people to stop cooperating with police.

August 7, 2009: In the south, three army rangers were wounded by a roadside bomb. Elsewhere in the south, police found and deactivated a similar bomb. The roadside bombs used in southern Thailand are less sophisticated than those encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan, indicating that the Thai bomb builders are basically getting their bomb designs from documents on the Internet.

August 6, 2009:  The new head of the Sri Lankan separatist rebel group, the LTTE, Selvarajah Pathmanathan, was arrested in the capital and promptly taken to Sri Lanka. It appears that Pathmanathan was first caught in neighboring Malaysia, and immediately moved to Bangkok, Thailand.

 

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