Sunday, September 10, 2006

Teachers in Thailand Shoot Back at Islamist Terrorists!

Here are some quotes from a 9/9/06 AP article about teachers in Thailand who are learning to use guns to protect themselves and their students from Islamic terrorists:

"Teachers have one of the deadliest jobs in southern Thailand, with 44 killed by the bombs and bullets of an Islamic insurgency since 2004.

So the teachers are learning how to shoot back...

At first insurgents targeted mainly civil servants, soldiers and police officers. Attacks then spread to businesses that serve soldiers: restaurants, outdoor markets, garages. And now come attacks that seem to have no rationale at all, such as the murder last month of an elephant trainer who was shot seven times by gunmen who had lined up with children to buy tickets for a show.

More than 1,700 people have been killed across Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat -- the only Muslim-majority provinces in this otherwise peaceful, tourist-friendly Buddhist country.

Among them was a teacher gunned down at his blackboard in July as his 4th graders watched in shock, and a Buddhist art teacher clubbed by a village mob in May until her skull shattered.

Teachers may be targets, officials say, because they are symbols of the central government's authority, or be taken hostage to be traded for captured insurgents, or because the militants want to do away with secular schools, sending the message that only Islamic schools -- which have been spared violence -- are safe...

[S]tudies show that nearly 300 schools and teachers have been targeted -- mostly arson, bomb attacks and shooting at guarded teacher convoys going to and from school. Aree Aatomphrasangsa, a 50-year-old elementary school principal, says she owns two shotguns but has a problem -- they don't fit in her purse...

Shooting courses started in late 2004 but have taken on new urgency since the shocking murder of the 4th-grade teacher July 24 at the Ban Bue Reng primary school in a Narathiwat village.

Prasarn Martchu, a 46-year-old Buddhist, was standing at his blackboard teaching a morning Thai-language class when a gunman walked in disguised as a student, fired twice and escaped while the two armed guards on duty were scared off by the gunfire, according to school officials."


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