Crossfire War: Malaysian Watch along Sungai Kolok River as 130 Thai Muslims Flee

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Night Watch: KUALA LUMPUR/BANGKOK – A Thai Muslim said that after Thailand’s army entered his village in Thailand’s Narathiwat province and shot dead a village headman, then he and about 130 other Thai Muslims abandoned their homes and sought refuge in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s government stated over its national news agency, Bernama, that Malaysia is considering temporary refuge to people fleeing southern Thailand if the violence continues. A Malaysian marine police official said his unit would maintain a 24-hour watch along the Sungai Kolok. A narrow river that is the border between the two countries.

Kuala Lumpur’s Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar was quoted by Reuters, “However, it’s not our intention to interfere with Thai domestic affairs. We will cooperate with the Thai authorities if they want their people who fled to return to Thailand.”

Kuala Lumpur is giving more support to groups who intend to, what they call,”liberate” southern Thailand and restore the independent sultanate called Pattani until it was seized by Bangkok a century ago.

Bangkok obviously believes that it had information on the village headman that he was supporting the uprising that began in January 2004 and has killed more than 800 people. Earlier this year the news reported that a lot of Thais had already fled the area and went north.

The Muslim groups conducting the attacks have already stated that as violence increases other Islamic countries could help them. War could begin between Malaysia and Thailand during the dry season that begins again next month and lasts until April. The drier weather makes it easier for military operations.

Bangkok will continue to target, what it feels, are leaders responsible for the attacks.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.