Skip to comments.Attackers Burn Schools, Kill 4 Soldiers in Thailand
Posted on 01/04/2004 1:17:27 PM PST by JimSEA
Four Thai soldiers were killed during a raid on a military compound in southern Thailand. The attack came after 18 schools were set on fire in the same area. The four soldiers were killed early Sunday morning while guarding an army depot in the southern region of Narathiwat, more than 1,100 kilometers from Bangkok. The attackers stole dozens of weapons.
The attack followed arson attacks that damaged 18 schools in the area. No one was injured in the school fires.
A Thai Army spokesman said a group of 30 attackers launched a series of attacks in nine districts of two provinces, Narathiwat and Yala, both near the border with neighboring Malaysia.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra cut short a vacation to call for an urgent meeting with security agencies.
The attack marks a fresh round of violence in the largely Muslim south of Thailand. About 10 percent of Thailand's population is Muslim, with most Muslims living in the southern provinces.
The region saw Muslim insurgency two decades ago. Some remnants of insurgent groups are now alleged to be involved in criminal gangs, extortion, and illegal trade between Thailand and neighboring Malaysia.
Since 2001, the region was hit by a wave of attacks on railways, government offices and military and police weapons depots, which left more than 50 soldiers, police officers and civilians dead.
Authorities say they are mounting a wide search operation for suspects in Sunday's attack, and have contacted neighboring Malaysia for help in keeping the attackers from crossing the border.
Do these guys look happy
Or mail checks to
or you can use
PayPal at Jimrob@psnw.com
SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC
SCHOOL ATTACKS: 'Our morale is almost gone'
Published on Jan 5, 2004
Educators, students lament 'inhumane' violence, express concern for the future
Arson attacks at 20 schools in the South yesterday reduced local teachers and students to tears.
"Our morale is almost gone. All teachers who arrived at the scene wept," said Chuenjit Chokedee, Muang Narathiwat School's assistant director.
She described the fire as the worst thing that ever happened to the school.
The school has 651 students from kindergarten to Grade 6. All are Muslim except for 36 Buddhists.
"The culprits [behind the arson attacks] have destroyed the future of their own children," Chuenjit said.
The school's kindergarten to Grade 4 classrooms were destroyed in the fire.
School director Suthin Iadnusorn, his eyes brimming with tears, admitted that the attackshad shaken both students and teachers.
"Such attacks are inhumane. Those who did it have left local people, their [the attackers'] relatives, to suffer," he said.
However, Suthin said he had instructed all teachers to be strong and prove to the public that they were not intimidated.
"We are the moral solace for students and their parents around here. We must not appear weak," he said.
Suthin announced that the classes would be held as usual today because exams were coming up soon.
At Khao Phra School, maths teacher Sopana Chosakul-chart said she rushed to theschool as soon as she heard itwas ablaze. She was amongthose who tried to put out the raging fire.
"Some of my colleagues broke down in tears," Sopana said. "We don't know when the attackers will strike again."
Sopana is one of the seven teachers at the school, which has 125 pupils.
Thanida sae Heng, the head student at Sungai Kolok School, said she did not feel any relief that her school was not a target in the simultaneous arson attacks.
"I am so sad and sorry for children at schools that were burned down," she said.
She said she would be happy to share her classrooms with students from other schools and would also be willing to donate any items that were needed.
"I must admit I am scared. I've never thought such attacks would happen," Thanida said.
Education Minister Adisai Bodharamik said, "We will do our best to ensure that all schools are able to open on Monday [today]."
Deputy Minister Sirikorn Maneerin said vocational colleges and military agencies were trying to find spare equipment as well as sites to serve as substitute classrooms.
"We are finding tents, tables and chairs," Sirikorn said. About Bt10 million in emergency funds will be spent to keep the schools running, and more assistance would follow, she added.
Gentle reader, keep in mind that it is Muslim Holy Warriors who are doing this (My addition -- JimSEA)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.