Saturday, May 01, 2004

War in the south
Ok the good news first. I am currently save and well in Hat Yai where the only thing threatening me at the moment is the weather. It looks like a tropical down pour is imminent.
The first hint of heightened tension this morning was that there were road blocks in Malaysia checking people coming and going from the border. The border crossing itself was quiet and uneventful but as soon as I got on the back of a motorbike at the Thai side of the fence there was military everywhere. Jeeps with machine guns on them and trucks with soldiers in full battle dress, complete with body armor and M16 rifles were cruising the streets and at various places in town and in most towns and villages I traveled through today people were filling sandbags to build gun emplacements.
Pretty unreal. Later in the day we drove past the mosque where the army killed 34 of the protesters (rebels, guerrillas). All there was to see now was a damaged building partly covered in a green tarpaulin and lots of people around it. The south definitely ain't quiet and tomorrow I hope to leave for the presumably safer pastures of Krabi.

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