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There's a raging Islamic insurgency in Thailand's strangest party town

Senate Panel Faults CIA Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations

A roadside bomb detonated near a mosque in Pattani as soldiers were patrolling nearby; the explosion killed a child and wounded two more children, two soldiers, and three other people. In Narathiwat, one soldier and three militants were killed in a shootout after the militants opened fire on a policeman.

A car bomb detonated outside a hotel in the tourist town of Betong in Yala, killing at least two people and wounding 36. Islamist insurgents are blamed for the attack, which also damaged the hotel, nearby buildings, and a number of vehicles. Authorities are stepping up security in the southern provinces following the Betong attack as well as a roadside bombing in Narathiwat today that killed one paramilitary ranger and wounded three others.

Suspected Islamist insurgents killed three people in a drive-by shooting in Yala, in the same district where an insurgent leader was killed last week. Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since January 2004.

A senior police official said that Daoud Farhat and Youssef Ayad, two members of Hezbollah arrested in Bangkok earlier this week, were planning bomb attacks against Israeli tourists and other Israeli groups on Khao San Road during Passover. A third suspect, Bilal Bahsoun, may be still at large. The bodies of wanted militant Muktar Ali-mama and his son were found on a rubber plantation in Yala where they had gone to work.

Authorities arrested three members of a Hezbollah cell in Thailand, including Thai citizen Y. Ayyad, a facilitator for the group in East Asia, and Lebanese nationals D. Farhat and B. Bahsoun. Two large groups of illegal Muslim immigrants arrested over the past several months in Thailand are thought to be Chinese Uighurs on their way to Turkey for jihadist training.

Suspected Islamist insurgents injured 27 people in three bombings in Sadao in the Songkhla tourist area yesterday: a car bomb damaged a hotel and 20 shops, and two bombs exploded near police stations. Two other bombs were defused in Sadao, and a car bomb was disabled near a police station in Phuket. In Pattani, an assistant village chief was shot dead yesterday, a female official was shot dead on Dec. 19, and five policemen who were escorting teachers to work were targeted by a roadside bomb but escaped harm. In Narathiwat, a roadside bomb targeting a police convoy injured two officers on Dec. 18, and a suspect in the killing of three members of a bomb squad was arrested. The head of the army warned of the prospect of civil war if the country's political conflicts are not resolved.

Atris Hussein, a Swedish man of Lebanese origin, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for possession of explosive materials. He is said to have been involved in a Hezbollah plot to target the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok. After his arrest, he led authorities to a warehouse that held 6,200 pounds of ammonium nitrate and 8,800 of urea fertilizer. He has already served a year and eight months in jail and plans to appeal.

2 Iranians tied to Bangkok terror plot sentenced

Two teachers were killed and three other people were injured by a roadside bomb detonated by militants in Narathiwat. Among the more than 5,000 people killed since the start of an Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand in 2004 are over 150 teachers.

Burgas bomb reportedly tied to Nazareth and Thailand terror plots

Security forces and militant Muslim rebel groups, including Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), have verbally agreed to a Ramadan ceasefire. Under the agreement, Thai forces will not take "aggressive actions" and the rebel groups will refrain from "armed attacks, bombings and ambushes" against Thai forces, in the provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla. The agreement does not involve some militant splinter groups, which are opposed to dialogue with the government.

Swedish citizen denies Hezbollah link in Thai court

A massive roadside bomb that targeted military vehicles in the Krong Pinang district of Yala province killed eight soldiers, wounded two more, and also wounded two civilians. The attack by suspected Islamist insurgents was the deadliest in several years against Thai security forces.

Muslim insurgents gunned down two Rangers as they patrolled in the Mae Lan district in Pattani province. The chief of Thailand's National Security Council blamed the uptick in violence in the south on insurgents who wish to sabotage peace talks.

Five paramilitary rangers, including the commander, were killed when their pickup truck hit a roadside bomb in Pattani; another ranger was wounded. The previous day a ranger was killed by a suspected militant in a shootout in Narathiwat. There have been frequent deadly attacks in Thailand since the last round of talks between the government and the rebel Barisan Revolusi Nasional group in April, in which the group said it wanted "liberation" from Thailand; the head of the Thai army rejected the proposal on May 22.

Suspected Islamist militants bombed the motorcade of the Yala province deputy governor as it drove through Yala's Bannang Sata district. The remotely-detonated bomb killed the deputy governor and another official in the car, and severely wounded the driver.

Thailand opened peace talks with several Muslim rebel groups from the country's south. The talks come two weeks after the signing of an agreement to end a nine-year insurgency that has claimed 5,500 lives.

More Than Words Needed on Southern Thailand