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Cablegate: Southern Violence: Coordinated Raids Across The

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BANGKOK 006764

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/MLS
PACOM FOR FPA (HUSO)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL TH
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN VIOLENCE: COORDINATED RAIDS ACROSS THE
SOUTH

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On October 26 small groups of militants
launched a series of 49 apparently coordinated raids in rural
areas throughout far southern Thailand. Four civilians and
two militants were reported killed in the raids, which appear
to have been focused on stealing weapons from village defense
volunteers. While following in the pattern of past raids,
their number and apparent coordination is troubling, and
demonstrates the organizational capabilities of the
insurgents. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On October 26 militants launched what appear to be
well coordinated raids in rural areas in the far southern
provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani. A spokesman for
the Thai 4th Army reported that, beginning at approximately 7
pm, small groups of militants went to villages throughout the
three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, and
Narathiwat, demanding that the local village defense
volunteers hand over their weapons (NOTE: the defense
volunteers are local civilians who have been given
rudimentary military training and then armed, usually with
shotguns, in order to protect villages in rural areas from
insurgent attacks. END NOTE). The assailants reportedly shot
two uncooperative village leaders, as well as two other
civilians. Interestingly, the raiders did not shoot the
village volunteers from whom they took the weapons.

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3. (SBU) Defense offices in the three provinces reported to
emboffs that there were 49 separate incidents over
approximately a two hour period on the 26th. (NOTE: 26 in
Yala, 15 in Pattani, 8 in Narathiwat. END NOTE). The
militants were apparently focused on stealing weapons from
village defense volunteers; taking 75 guns in the raids.
Thai security forces killed two of the assailants and
captured another after wounding him. Two other suspected
militants were apprehended after they were seen placing
spikes on a road. Nimuk Makache, Secretary General of the
Yala Islamic Committee, told us he expects little information
to come from those arrested as they will likely have little
knowledge of any organization beyond their immediate cell.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: In many ways these organized "hit and
run" style raids mirror the tactics seen in past incidents in
the South. However, the choice of targets was different --
civilians rather that police or military outposts -- and
interestingly the militants did not shoot first. This seems
to suggest that the raiders were local people who knew who in
the villages had been given weapons. While the militants'
small group tactics look familiar, the apparent scale and
level of coordination of the October 26 raids is troubling.
A local observer commented that the aim of these raids was
simply to steal weapons. Whatever their intent, the large
number of raids -- over a large area in a short time span --
shows that the insurgents maintain significant organizational
capabilities, while the Thai security forces are simply
unable to protect villages across the whole region. END
COMMENT
KEUR

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