From AP via The Standard:
Small bombs injured five people Sunday in continuing violence in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated south, as a much-criticized new decree came into effect giving Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra authoritarian powers to fight the ongoing insurgency.
About 900 people have died in drive-by shootings and bombings in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani since January last year, when Muslim separatists launched an insurgency.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej signed the decree into law, authorizing Thaksin to unilaterally declare a state of emergency and implement security measures, said Cabinet Secretary Bowornsak Uwanno.
The decree gives Thaksin the power to impose curfews, ban public gatherings, censor news, close publications, limit travel, detain suspects without charge, confiscate property and tap telephones, among other measures.
The decree was issued after a daring raid Thursday night by suspected Islamic insurgents on the capital of Yala province.
The militants destroyed electrical transformers to black out the city, then set off firebombs and other explosives in commercial areas and fired at security forces before escaping…