Though Out of Sight and Mind in Bangkok, Thailand’s Southern Insurgency Continues

Though Out of Sight and Mind in Bangkok, Thailand’s Southern Insurgency Continues

BANGKOK, Thailand -- After the nightly curfew curtain comes down at 8 p.m. in parts of the southern Thailand city of Yala, only stray dogs and army patrols move about the streets. The eight-hour curfew has been in force since Muslim insurgents stepped up their bloodletting in the area, stopping a minibus and cold-bloodedly executing its eight Buddhist occupants, including women and children.

But while people might sleep more easily in the curfew zones, the sectarian violence continues elsewhere in the Muslim-majority three southernmost provinces of Thailand.

The death toll since a resurgence of violence began in 2004 has risen above 2,100, including 75 teachers -- seen as key targets of the ethnic and cultural cleansing campaign -- and the military-installed central government in Bangkok appears to have little idea how to handle the problem, other than knee-jerk responses such as the curfew.

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