In the south, a motorcycle bomb went off in a market, wounding 28 people. This kind of violence, which hurts Moslems (the majority, with 80 percent, in the two southern provinces) as well as Buddhists (over 90 percent of Thais) has increasingly turned the Moslem population against the terrorists. This has meant more information for the cops, about who the terrorists are and where they hang out. Thus over the last year, the terrorists have had to move out of rural Moslem villages and head for the hills. While most southern Moslems don't like Thai Buddhists, the government has brought in more investment, and jobs. The extent of the counter-terror effort has demonstrated the determination of the government to retain control of the south (which, until 1902, was an independent Moslem Sultanate). The idea of becoming independent again has lost whatever popularity it once had. Merging with Malaysia is not popular either, since the Malaysians are much less tolerant of drinking and partying. Malays come to Thailand to enjoy themselves, and most southerners don't want the Malaysian government to cross the border. While many young (and often unemployed) southern Moslems still back the terrorists, that isn't enough to win. The police and army outnumber the kids, and are more expert in the use of violence.
October 17, 2009: Some 17,000 Red Shirt (populist) demonstrators assembled in the capital. They were faced by 2,000 police. The Red Shirt's are trying to get a royal pardon for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was removed by a military coup, backed by large crowds of Yellow Shirt demonstrators.
October 15, 2009: In the south, a hundred soldiers and police raided a terrorist camp in the mountains, and captured a large quantity of bomb making materials. The terrorists in the camp got away, but left much material behind. The location had been discovered by interrogating several terrorism suspects.
October 12, 2009: In the south, 200 troops raided an Islamic school and arrested 60 students and teachers. Counter-terror operations in the south have found, not surprisingly, that Islamic boarding schools have been a prime source of Islamic terrorists.
October 11, 2009: Some 8,000 Red Shirt (populist) demonstrators assembled in the capital. They were faced by 1,500 police. The Red Shirt's are trying to restore former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was removed by a military coup.
October 9, 2009: In the south, Islamic terrorists used a roadside bomb and gunfire to attack an army convoy. Nine soldiers were wounded before the attackers fled.