There has been a low-level separatist insurgency in the deep South since the region was included on maps of Thailand in 1909.
But in 2004, during the governing tenure of the controversial Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, there was a clear escalation of violence.
The predominantly Malay-Muslim South has historically demonstrated a fierce determination for autonomy while various Thai governments in Bangkok have sought to exercise sovereignty there.
The recent surge of violence began after a series of clumsy, verging upon incompetent, decisions by Thaksin's government turned political discontent into a separatist rebellion.
Responding to reporters in February 2005, when questioned how he would deal with separatist violence, Prime Minister Thaksin claimed; “I will never allow anyone to separate even one square inch from this country, even if this land will have to be soaked with blood.”
As the death toll continues to rise it seems that Thaksin has kept is word.
To learn about the state of Thailand's Deep South, please follow the ' Southern Insurgency' labels.
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