Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Islamists Kill 2, Free History Lesson

2 shot dead, 19 wounded in Thai bomb attacks

YALA, Thailand -- Two Muslims were shot dead and 19 people, including several policemen, were wounded in twin bomb attacks near a busy railway station Tuesday in Thailand's restive south, police said.

The first bomb, hidden in the front basket of a motorcycle, went off during the morning rush hour in Yala, one of three insurgency-torn provinces bordering Malaysia, they said.

As police rushed to the scene, a more powerful bomb exploded, injuring 19 people, including eight policemen and four from the local press.
The second explosive was hidden inside the same motorcycle, and insurgents detonated it through a remote control, police said.

Also in Yala, a 28-year-old Muslim man was gunned down by militants at a tea shop early Tuesday, and another 27-year-old Muslim man was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in the province late Monday.

More than 2,400 people have been killed and thousands more injured in separatist violence that has rocked southern Thailand for three years.

The region was an autonomous Malay sultanate until it was annexed a century ago by Buddhist Thailand.

The area was "officially" annexed 1909 in treaty between the British ruled Malaysia and the Kingdom of Siam. The area itself was conquered in the 1700s after the Siam war of independence against the Burmese. The Siamese still held a grudge with the Sultanate for attacking Ayutthaya the old Capital of Siam in 1563.

The British had promised to let the area become it's own independent state again after World War 2 but changed their minds as they saw Siam as an natural Allie against the various Communist insurrections in the region.

Malaysia was Islamified in the 13th Century. Before that the area was part of the
Hindu-Malay empire of Langkasuka.

In any event I'm sick of hearing the press say Thailand "annexed" the region from a sultante that hadn't existed for several hundred years. And I don't see how killing some poor bloke sitting in a tea shop is going to change history or restore the glory of the Sultante that died out in the 17th Century.