Muslim militants in southern regions of Thailand continued their bloody campaign against the government by ambushing a military unit that was protecting teachers from being killed. As a result of the fighting, eight soldiers were killed. These deaths were the highest number of military killed in any single combat since the beginning of the year. During the ambush, the militants beheaded one person, it was the 37th beheading since the insurgency began four years ago. The patrol was returning to camp after escorting teachers to their school. Teachers have been a major target of militants who regard them as agents of the Thai government and claims they are attempting to indoctrinate children. Earlier this month, 10 Mulsim mmbers of security forces were arrested for aiding the millitants.
It incrreasingly becomes apparent the continued focus on military action, in itself, will not result in bringing peace to southern Thailand. There is need for political efforts that would empower local Muslims by giving them more say in the government of the three southern Muslim provinces. This, together with economic efforts, might be able to reduce local support for militants.