BOMBS CREATE PANIC IN THAILAND’S SONGKHLA PROVINCE
Thai General Phanlop Pinmani has warned that the insurgency in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani has now broken down into a full scale guerrilla war (Thai Rat, May 17). According to the general, the increased frequency of attacks and the brutality involved are evidence of the increased operational potential by the region’s insurgents. Highlighting the rise of incidents, on May 27 seven bombs shook the southern city of Hai Yai, which is the provincial capital of Songkhla province. The bombs were small in size and meant to cause chaos rather than significant damage. Also on May 27, however, one soldier was killed and four wounded in a battle with insurgents in Yala. Authorities have had difficulty identifying the operational leaders of the unrest in the south and little is known about the structure of the various insurgent groups (Terrorism Monitor, September 8, 2006). Since the start of this latest insurgency in January 2004, more than 2,100 people have been killed.
TALIBAN LAUNCH OPERATION KAMEEN
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousaf Ahmadi recently told reporters that a new campaign against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan had begun. The campaign, labeled Operation Kameen (ambush), aims to increase the number of ambushes on coalition forces, and also involves increasing the number of suicide bomb and IED attacks (The News, May 28). The announcement comes as many analysts ponder why the Taliban did not launch an expected spring offensive. It also comes after the death of the Taliban’s military mastermind, Mullah Dadullah (Terrorism Focus, March 21, 2006). Reports state that Mullah Dadullah has been replaced as the military commander of the Taliban by his younger brother, Mullah Bakht Mohammad, who has now taken on the name “Dadullah Mansoor.”