Another “Inner Spiritual Struggle”-related explosion, this time targeting Buddhist monks seeking alms, and the soldiers guarding them. Thai Jihad Update Reuters:
NARATHIWAT, Thailand (Reuters) – A remote-controlled bomb killed a soldier and wounded 11 people in Thailand’s Muslim south on Sunday, police said, the latest attack in a separatist insurgency which has killed more than 1,700 since early 2004.
Militants used a mobile phone to detonate a 5-kg (11-lb) bomb hidden in a rubbish bin in the city of Narathiwat as soldiers accompanied five Buddhist monks to protect them as they sought alms, police said.
One soldier died on his way to hospital, while other soldiers, monks and four passers-by were wounded, police said.
The insurgency in the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat — an Islamic sultanate until Bangkok annexed the region a century ago — has shown no sign of abating since a September 19 coup led by a Muslim general overthrew hawkish prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Nevertheless, Surayud Chulanont, the former army chief appointed prime minister by the military, has said he wants a peaceful solution to the violence and offered talks with militant leaders, a policy u-turn from the days of Thaksin.
During an official visit to Jakarta on Saturday, Surayud hailed Indonesia’s Aceh peace accord signed in Helsinki last year to end a separatist insurgency which had seen more than 15,000 killed since 1979.
“Indonesia has set a model in solving the conflict in the Aceh province successfully,” a Thai government Web site, www.thaigov.go.th, quoted Surayud as telling Indonesian media after meeting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“The Aceh model is a good example to bring peace to southern Thailand,” the Web site reported on Sunday.