After ‘inner struggle’ Muslims set six schools on fire in southern Thailand

The burning of six schools in Pattani in the early hours of yesterday was described by the military as an act of revenge for recent arrests of key figures in the southern insurgency.

Army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari said that it was likely the separatist movement in the southern border region wanted to attack the authorities in response to their arrests of some key leaders recently. He did not identify them.

“Authorities recently arrested some important leaders of the insurgent movement in our proactive operations.

“There were searches and sieges at some sites, and seizures of many items used in insurgent attacks,” he said.

Colonel Banpot Poonpian, spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command, said units working in the area agreed that the authorities’ recent operations that led to arrests of many suspects in key insurgent cases could have caused the militants to torch schools in retaliation…