South militants number 3,000
Published on June 23, 2006 - There are as many as 3,000 militants supporting the violence in the restive South, Ninth Police Region Commander Adul Saengsingkeow said yesterday.
The militants are divided into 500 groups with five or six members in each group spread throughout about 500 villages in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, he said.
Adul said the militants were behind 63 explosions between June 15 and 16 across 31 districts of the South , which claimed three lives and injured nearly 30 people.
Adul outlined the structure of the organisation, but did not name it. According to Adul's reports the organisation is made up of five divisions: the Ulama, Political, Economic, RKK and Permuda units.
Adul said the Ulama unit's function is to indoctrinate and recruit youngsters. The Political unit conducts psychological warfare and launches propaganda against the government. The Economic unit builds financial support. The RKK, the armed forces, have undertaken training courses such as the Runda Kampulan Kecil course in Indonesia in order to launch guerrilla warfare tactics. And the Permuda is the youth wing of the group.
Authorities have evidence that at least 549 people, mostly youngsters, are members of this militant group, he said, adding that many have been arrested while a number of others have died during clashes with officials over the past few years.