Thailand gears up for peace talks

As the country prepares for peace talks, there is concern the talks may provoke more violence.

    The Kre Se mosque in southern Thailand's Pattani province is an ancient place of worship, but it is also a symbol of the area's turbulent history dating back hundreds of years.

    In 2004, 32 suspected Muslim separatists were involved in a seven-hour standoff with the army at the mosque. Eventually the soldiers opened fire, killing all those inside.

    It was one of three major incidents that year that triggered a surge in violence in the south. Ever since, the number of victims has increased almost daily.

    The army is in charge in the south and under martial law enjoys special powers leading to resentment among some civilians.

    Its leadership has offered some support for the peace talks which are already in danger of lacking credibility.

    Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay reports from Pattani, southern Thailand.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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