Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's controversial war on drugs has claimed nearly 1,000 lives since the start of February.
Despite international concern at the death toll, the prime minister appears to be in tune with the vast majority of Thais, with one opinion poll suggesting that more than 90% of the population supports the crackdown.
Drug abuse is rampant here and there are signs the community is willing to
accept this brutal offensive against narcotics if lasting success can be
Mr Thaksin has said a high death toll was
Young people back the measures
"In this war, drug dealers must die," he insisted. "But we do
not kill them. It's a matter of the bad guys killing the bad guys."
The government blames inter-gang warfare for the soaring number of fatalities and says police officers, acting in self-defence, are responsible for only a fraction of the total.
The latest victim was a 16 month-old girl. She was in her mother's arms when they were shot dead by a gunman in southern Thailand. The police have insisted their murders were drugs-related.
At Chulalongkorm University in Bangkok, the bloodshed has not dented the
enthusiasm for the government's crusade among many students.
Songkarm Jarusirisawat, a 19-year-old engineering undergraduate, told BBC News Online that the clampdown was long overdue.
"I think it's a good idea because
drugs are a major problem here," he said.
But was he worried about the number of casualties?
"No. If people sell
drugs they deserve all they get," he insisted.
Sukamyapat, a second year architecture student, was of the same mind.
the bad guys have been killed, I think that's okay," she explained. "We want our society changed to become better," she said.
A survey in Bangkok of 564 police officers in The Nation newspaper has revealed the
majority believe this confrontation with the traffickers and producers was unavoidable. Thirty-nine per cent told the paper a non-violent war on drugs was impossible.
The Thai Government has set ambitious targets. It aims to eradicate the country's trade in methamphetamines - usually known as uppers and speed - by May.
A report by the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board says Thailand is the world's largest consumer of these highly addictive
Support for the government is not universal in Thailand. The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM Asia) believes the crackdown is "a gruesome quick-fix".
Mr Homlaor warns of extra-judicial killings
Secretary-General Somchai Homlaor told the BBC he believed Thai authorities had arranged extra-judicial killings in recent weeks to help the government achieve its targets.
"There are gangs roaming around the provinces killing the suspects. They've never been arrested," Mr Homlaor said.
"The local people know these people are the police so this is very dangerous to the principle of the rule of law," he said.
The government has strongly denied the security forces have been given orders to shoot-to-kill and has promised its efforts to combat the trade in illicit drugs will intensify.