Terror in Thailand

Six are dead and over 40 injured following a car bomb attack in the southern Thai city of Sungai Kolok. The bomb went off in a hotel parking lot hours after newly-elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had completed a visit to the restive Muslim-majority region. The government blamed relatives of wanted insurgent leaders for the blast. A separatist insurgency in the southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani has left over 600 dead in the past year, and the government has militarized the region with 20,000 army troops. After the new attack—the first car bombing in the region—Thaksin said he would cut development funds to villages suspected of supporting militants, and lay military siege to them if that failed to end the support. (VOA, Feb. 18)