A carefully coordinated series of bomb attacks struck southern Thailand today. According to the AP:
Nearly two dozen bombs exploded almost simultaneously Thursday inside commercial banks in southern Thailand, killing two people in a region bloodied by a Muslim insurgency, police said.
The homemade bombs, which were triggered by mobile phone signals, were placed in garbage bins, at newspaper stands and near seats where customers wait for service in the banks in Yala province, said Maj. Gen. Paithoon Choochaiya who heads the provincial police. At least 28 people were injured.
Authorities said two suspects were detained. A review of close-circuit video showed that some of the explosives were planted by women, police said.
Some of the apparently small devices were hidden in women’s handbags or inside books carried by teenagers in school uniforms, said Lt. Gen. Ongkorn Thongprasom, the army chief in the south.
Some of the targets were “Islamic” banks; i.e. those which charge no interest. For some reason they were not exempt from the attacks.
There’s more in the Bangkok Post:
Such simultaneous terrorist attacks in the deep South, where more than 1,300 people have died from violence over the past two and a half years, have become increasingly common as the region’s separatist movement attempts to demonstrate its unity and resilience, authorities said.
It’s important to remember that the “separatist movement” — the media’s preferred term — in the south of Thailand is an attempt by Islamic terrorists to wrest control from the central government in Bangkok.
The Bangkok Post provides some background:
Thailand’s deep South has been gripped by a simmering separatist movement for decades. The area, once an independent Islamic sultanate called Pattani, was first conquered by Bangkok in 1786 but only came under the direct rule of the Thai bureaucracy in 1902.
Pattani’s separatist struggle has been fuelled by the local population’s sense of religious and cultural alienation from the predominantly Buddhist Thai state. More than 80 per cent of the 2 million people in the three-province region describe themselves as Muslims.
80% Muslim is an ominously large percentage. If southern Thailand is like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine, and other predominantly Islamic areas, a de facto ethnic cleansing will soon occur, as non-Muslims flee to other areas before they are killed. This is what I have previously called the “Islamic ratchet”, the process whereby countries which pass a critical mass of Muslim population become increasingly Muslim, until all others are driven out, converted, or killed.
Commenter Ik has given us these statistics for the Muslim population in the Indian subcontinent:
Notice the virtual disappearance of Hindus from Pakistan. But India has not ethnically cleansed itself of Muslims. In fact, their population has increased, presumably as Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh leave their economically dysfunctional homelands to look for work in the Indian powerhouse.
It seems that southern Thailand will go the way of Bangladesh, and become an independent and impoverished Islamic statelet. The wretched poor of the new country will tug at the world’s heartstrings, and the UN and its NGOs will descend on the victims with “aid”. The Islamic Republic of Pattani will become Palestine-on-the-Malacca-Strait.
We have some experts on Thailand among our readers. Anyone want to weigh in with additional information?