Terrorists in southern Thailand go on a bombing spree

May 24, 2018

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ON THE evening of May 20th, just as it was growing dark, a series of explosions blasted banks, cash machines and electricity poles at more than a dozen locations across southern Thailand. Just three people were hurt by the bombings, which took place when most locals in the Muslim-majority region would have been breaking their Ramadan fast, and were thus safely indoors. Rather than killing bystanders, the attacks were meant “to serve as a reminder of militant capabilities”, reckons Matthew Wheeler of Crisis Group, a watchdog. Despite a recent period of relative calm, the violence that has by turns simmered and flared in the region since 2004 shows no signs of abating.

The provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, as well as nearby parts of Songkhla, once formed an independent sultanate until Siam—as Thailand used to be known—overran it in the late 18th century. About 3m people live in the area, and most are ethnically Malay...

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