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Thailand Rethinks Approach to Southern Insurgency

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Regular bombings, killings and skirmishes between rebels and the military in southern Thailand have forced Thai authorities to finally grasp the scope of a conflict that has scarred thousands and changed the lives of millions.

Previously, Thai police, military and politicians had dismissed the attacks as random violence committed by bandits or a handful of disgruntled Islamic militants. Such attempts to play down the carnage were dismissed by Western governments, who see the confrontation with ethnic Malay-Muslim separatists in the south as a persistent threat to regional security. ...

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