The jihadist bloodshed continues in Thailand, where Islamic militants have recently accelerated their attacks on local civilians, per Reuters:
Five villagers and two militants were killed overnight in southern Thailand when Muslim separatist insurgents launched about 50 raids on remote villages in the restive region, the army said on Thursday.
The newly appointed army chief — the first Muslim to hold the position — responded by telling troops to be on extra alert over the following week as the Muslim fasting month of Ramandan draws to a close.
“October 29 to early November is a very sacred part of Ramadan when those who die will go to heaven. Therefore, they will stir a lot of unrest, and we have to be on extra alert,” General Sonthi Boonyaratglin told reporters.
Of course, religion plays no role in this”¦
Most of the Wednesday night attacks targeted members of civilian militias created by the government to counter a 22-month insurgency that has claimed nearly 1,000 lives in the three southernmost provinces and rattled foreign governments and investors.
“The attacks came at around 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. while all the men were praying at mosques. They left shotguns with their families at home,” Colonel Acra Tiprote of the southern Army command told Reuters by telephone.
“We are hunting for the suspects with lots of help from villagers, both Buddhists and Muslims.”
About 90 weapons, mostly government-issued shotguns, were stolen while three militants were captured alive, the army said.