Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Drug addiction behind insurgency in S. Thailand

BANGKOK, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Hidden factors, especially drug addiction, were a major cause of the ongoing violence in Thailand's deep South, Thai acting Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya said Saturday. The acting prime minister, who is also caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister, was quoted by the official Thai News Agecny as saying that Thai government officials are working closely with Muslim religious leaders in the region to prevent drug addicts from becoming prey of militants. He said reports gathered on this issue by Thai intelligence officials were similar with those received by Malaysian authorities. "Segregation and drugs have been long standing problems in the region," Chidchai told journalists, referring to Thailand's southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.

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