1,000 Muslims rally against troops in Thai south

At least 1,000 Muslims rallied at a mosque in southern Thailand for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday to protest against the military presence in the region, local police said.

1,000 Muslims rally against troops in Thai south

At least 1,000 Muslims rallied at a mosque in southern Thailand for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday to protest against the military presence in the region, local police said.

The protesters - mostly young men and women with their faces covered - converged on the mosque in Pattani province carrying signs reading "The real terrorist(s) are soldiers" and shouting slogans.

"Around 1,000 protesters continued demonstrating at the mosque today (Sunday), the same figure as yesterday," said one Pattani police officer who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.


The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of troops and an end to a state of emergency in the region, which gives security forces broad immunity from prosecution while giving them sweeping powers of search and seizure.

Emergency rule, in place in the south for nearly two years, also allows suspects to be detained for up to 30 days without charge.

Rights groups have harshly criticised emergency rule, saying it creates a climate of impunity.

The protest came in the Muslim-majority region bordering Malaysia worsened, after many Muslims killed in mosque and 12 soldiers killed Thursday in Yala province.



The army has tightened security, witnesses in Pattani said, setting up checkpoints on the main roads leading to the mosque. Mobile phone signals in the area have also been cut.

Thailand's military deploys about 30,000 troops in the south, and plans to send more soldiers.

Last Mod: 03 Haziran 2007, 15:34
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