The Straits Times
Published on Dec 13, 2012

Thai PM visits violence-torn south after deadly attacks


BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra went to the south of Thailand on Thursday after attacks blamed on Muslim insurgents this week in which six people were killed, including an 11-month-old child and two teachers, who are increasingly seen as targets.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since 2004 in the low-level insurgency in three Muslim majority provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country.

Five teachers have been killed in the past six weeks - the militants see schools as a main element in state attempts to assimilate ethnic Malay Muslims - and Ms Yingluck held meetings with teachers as well as security officials during her visit.

"Whatever happens, children need to have a safe place to learn. I thank teachers for having the courage to teach and I will ask for reinforcements and extra troops to ensure their security," she told reporters.