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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Thailand to atone for mosque dead
Thai soldiers outside mosque in Pattani province, 29 April 2004
Troops used 'excessive force', an independent report said
The Thai government has promised to compensate the families of 32 young Muslims killed when security forces stormed a mosque in April.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has already said that soldiers may have used excessive force against the men, who were inside Krue Se mosque.

The crisis could have ended peacefully, according to the summary of a report into the killings, released on Tuesday.

The mosque raid marked the worst day of an uprising that began in January.

More than 100 suspected Islamic militants were killed on 28 April, after a wave of attacks in the four predominantly Muslim provinces in southern Thailand.

The violence continued on Tuesday, when four bombs went off in the province of Narathiwat, and three soldiers were injured a separate bomb explosion in Yala province.

The report, compiled by an independent panel, criticised the Thai security forces for using grenades, and said troops used "disproportionate" force.

"The resolution of the crisis at the Krue Se mosque through peaceful means would have been more appropriate and better served the interests of the security personnel than the use of force," the report's summary said.

The summary was published so that the troops' errors and inexperience came to light, according to government spokesman Jakrapob Penkhair.

He said unspecified compensation would be paid to the families of those killed and to the relatives of three members of the security forces who died in the violence.

"The government will pay compensation in money and assistance to both sides killed at the mosque, but it cannot be expressed in financial terms since some would be offered in scholarships," he said.

In the latest violence, three Thai soldiers were injured on Tuesday in a roadside bomb attack in Yala province, as they waited to escort teachers to schools.

None of the teachers had boarded the truck at the time of the blast, but teachers and other public officials are often the target for such attacks, together with Buddhist monks.

"It was a remote-controlled bomb planted on the roadside," a local policeman told the French news agency AFP.

Later on Tuesday, four other bombs went off in a series of apparently co-ordinated attacks on council offices, a toilet and an office in the neighbouring province of Narathiwat.

Nobody has been reported hurt or injured in those attacks.




SEE ALSO:
Thai PM admits 'excessive force'
31 Jul 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Eyewitness: Thai violence aftermath
12 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Who was behind the Thai attacks?
30 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Thailand's Muslim divide
29 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific


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