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Trauma continues to haunts Thailand's children of war and violence

Published on Dec 3, 2012 12:14 PM
 
The son (centre) of a slain Muslim official cries as the body of his father is brought to hospital after he was shot dead by suspected separatist militants in Thailand's restive southern province of Narathiwat on Dec 2, 2012. Mentally scarred and afraid to set foot outside his home in Thailand's deep south, Ahmad is one of thousands of children orphaned by a war largely forgotten by the rest of the world. -- PHOTO: AFP

PATTANI (AFP) - Mentally scarred and afraid to set foot outside his home in Thailand's deep south, Ahmad is one of thousands of children orphaned by a war largely forgotten by the rest of the world.

After years living with the menace of bombs, shootings and curfews, many youngsters in Thailand's insurgency-wrecked deep south are exhibiting high levels of stress and trauma.

"When I do go out I stay near my home... I never go far away," Ahmad, 12, said as he chewed timidly on the collar of his football shirt.

His 15-year-old sister Sunnah said their father's murder by unknown gunmen six years ago marked the end of her childhood and left the siblings - whose names AFP has changed to protect their identity - without parents following the death of their mother in an accident. They now live with an aunt.

 
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