The 32 months of violence in the Moslem south have so far caused nearly 4,300 casualties (40 percent of them fatal). During that period, there were some 5,500 incidents of Islamic terrorist violence. That's an average of 5-6 a day, among a population of 2.4 million (some 80 percent Moslem). The violence was largely directed at the 400,000 or so non-Moslems. The terrorist attacks have had the effect of doubling the normal murder rate in the south. A religiously inspired crime wave, so to speak. But the terror is very real as well, especially for non-Moslems. Since most of the deaths are among the non-Moslem minority, the death rate for that community has risen to about 15 per 100,000 per year. The rate in the U.S. is about 6 per 100,000 people per year.
While the number of bombings has increased this year, the casualty rate has gone down. This is largely because of the thousands of additional soldiers and police sent to the south. These security forces are everywhere down there. But the damage has already been done, and thousands of non-Moslem Thais have fled the south. The main objective of the Islamic terrorists is to expel all non-Moslems from the south, and then set up a religious dictatorship.
September 6, 2006: So far, five soldiers have been arrested for taking part in recent bombing attempts on the prime minister. So the attacks were apparently not a ploy by the prime minister to win sympathy.
September 4, 2006: The 21 bank branches that were bombed on August 31st, all reopened. Seven men have been arrested for participating in the bombing operation, and three of them have admitted their role.
September 1, 2006: The government is giving army and police commanders more freedom of action in the south, leaving it to them to come up with new ideas, and carry them out quickly.