More (Bryan): Related:
BANGKOK, Thailand — The defense minister warned Thursday that Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand could extend their attacks to Bangkok after the rebels demonstrated their strength this week with a string of high-profile attacks.
Gen. Boonrawd Somtat, who said the insurgents include 1,000 armed fighters and 10,000 second-line hard-core sympathizers, said the rebels were infiltrating universities in the capital, which could be used as launching pads for assaults.
Acknowledging a security failure, he said the government’s “control measures are not working 100 percent perfectly.”
“We will have to tighten security,” he told reporters.
The Special Branch police division said earlier it was closely monitoring southern Muslim student groups in Bangkok.
The separatist insurgency, which has led to about 2,000 deaths in the past three years, has been largely confined to Muslim-dominated provinces in southernmost Thailand bordering Malaysia.
Recent attacks include 29 coordinated bombings and 20 other arson and shooting attacks Sunday; a fire set to a large rubber warehouse Wednesday; and an ambush of the motorcade of a confidante of the Thai queen, also on Wednesday.
I blame Bush. Just because.