THAILAND - Police and military casualties from the southern unrest more than doubled to 129 last year from 60 a year earlier, despite the series of peace talks with insurgents and the Ramadan truce, according to a police report.
Of the 267 deaths of officials and civilians due to separatist violence in 2013, 36 were police; 93 were soldiers, rangers and marines; 132 were civilians; five were teachers and one was a monk, said the report by the Police Operational Centre in the Southern Provinces.
Rising toll among militants too
On the other side, 51 militants were killed, which was more than the previous year's unspecified figure due to an increase in raids and blockades to 45 occasions, which saw 18 of them killed after firefights.
In 2012, the death toll was 21 police, 39 military personnel and 223 civilians, with no details about other people, according to the centre.
There were 1,539 incidents as of December 23, up from 1,465. They were broken down into 514 shootings, 87 arson attacks, three brutal murders, eight assaults, 24 ambushes, 714 disturbances of the peace and one protest.
Injuries were inflicted on 70 police officers, 352 military personnel, 265 civilians and eight teachers, for a total of 695 cases.
Out of 513 security warrants, 562 suspects were arrested.
Yesterday, fake bombs were planted at two locations in Yala's Muang district, likely by insurgents intent on causing a commotion.
Police blocked off a main road to keep people away while they tried to identify the objects. They shot rifles at them, only to find that they were tin cans filled with gravel.
At one location, sheets of paper with "Pattani Merdeka" (Independence to Pattani) written on them were lying on the ground nearby.