from Asia Unbound

Thailand’s Deep South Insurgency Getting More Dangerous

April 10, 2012

Thai rescue workers help an injured man after a bomb blast in southern Thailand's Yala province March 31, 2012.
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Over on Bangkok Pundit, BP has an excellent overview of trends in the insurgency in southern Thailand. Using statistics from Deep South Watch, which chronicles the violence in the Thai south, he shows that March 2012 had the most number of injuries — 547 —from the violence in the south of any month in years. In fact, that figure for injuries is around five times the average monthly figure for injuries from the insurgency and violence. This month may be an aberration — as BP notes, the violence, including injuries and deaths, can go up and down quite substantially — but it does potentially portend a worsening of the already disastrous conflict. It also clearly puts the lie to any claims by the military and the government that the insurgency is being combated effectively.

In recent months, insurgents have become far more sophisticated and brazen in their attacks on security forces and on bombings, confronting the security forces out in the open on numerous occasions, and conducting running gun battles. The recent coordinated car bombings in Hat Yai and Yala also showed the growing sophistication of the insurgents in operating in urban areas, the expanding potential area in which they will strike, and the cluelessness of Thai intelligence of the militants’ operating capabilities.