Thai Jihad Update. “Three-year-old boy shot dead in Thailand,” from Agence France-Presse:
PATTANI, Thailand (AFP) – Suspected separatists shot dead a three-year-old boy in Thailand’s restive south Sunday, police said, hours after hundreds of Muslims gathered to protest the killing of a retired teacher.
The child was killed when insurgents in a truck opened fire on the home of his father, a Muslim village headman, police said. The father was also injured in the attack in Narathiwat province.
The shooting came after suspected Islamic rebels threw a grenade into a crowd of people who were leaving the mosque in Pattani after evening prayers late Saturday.
Moments later, the insurgents opened fire on the crowd outside the mosque, police said, killing a former teacher and injuring three people.
Police said more than 100 veiled women and their children staged a short protest demanding peace in the south, where more than 2,100 people have been killed since the latest insurgency erupted in January 2004.
“Mostly women and children, hiding their faces behind veils, came to protest and call for peace. They only protested for one hour before leaving,” said police colonel Thawal Nakrawong.
That sense of urgency, even from fellow Muslims, notwithstanding: “OIC urges Thailand to be patient in tackling insurgency,” from United News of India:
Bangkok, Apr 27: The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) has praised Thailand’s handling of insurgency in the country”s Muslim-majority southern border region but urged patience ahead of an OIC team visit here.
Ekmeleddin Ishanolgu, Secretary-General of the 57-Islamic nation grouping is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok on April 30 leading a delegation which will travel to Thailand’s troubled south.
An OIC advisor who met the top official in the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs here yesterday in preparation for the visit, said Thailand’s approach to the over three-year-old southern insurgency showed recognition of its root causes.
As defined and approved by the OIC.
The OIC found this encouraging and this was the reason the grouping has deferred discussion on the Thai insurgency till next month’s OIC foreign ministers” conference in Pakistan which takes place after the OIC secretary-general’s Thailand visit, OIC advisor
Sayed El-Masry told Thai foreign ministry”s Permanent Secretary Virasak Futrakul.
However, the OIC official added that it could take a number of years before the approach produces results and the Thai government must be patient.
It is, however, not correct to equate the Thai insurgency to similar situations involving Muslim minorities in other nations, Mr El-Masry, a former OIC assistant secretary
“Each situation has its own dimensions and different cases have different paths,” he said.
The OIC has “to take care of one-third of the world’s Muslim population of 1.8 billion who are minorities under the principle that we respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country we are working with. But please note that the OIC has
never supported separatist movements,” the OIC official said.
Through action or inaction?