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Muslim residents in mass rally for peace in far South

Dec 22. 2012
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By Patidta Noosanthad,
Pares Loh

Fed up with years of insurgent violence, about 1,000 mostly Muslim residents joined a rally yesterday led by a religious leader in Narathiwat's Rangae district.

Imam Mahamadkhalik Pathan yesterday led the large crowd in a rally at Long Gong Roundabout in Tambon Tamyongmas municipality to condemn fanatics and called on them to stop creating disunity among different faiths. 

Mahamadkhalik condemned violence in the region as a lack of virtue, saying the Islamic faith didn’t teach people to incite and create disunity with other religions – it taught people to be righteous and live together in peace. 
“Peace is Muslim, [and] those who create disunity between religions are heretics. So I pray ‘God change their minds to stop the violence’ and pray to Allah to bless this country with restored peace,” he said.
Sunan Ongboon, head of a group promoting the role of women, urged Thais of Buddhist or Islamic faith to unite and love each other instead of living without trust in each other. She vowed to push for families to take “misguided” members back home in a bid to restore peace in the region.
Meanwhile, 26 closed-circuit television security cameras were burnt in Sai Buri in Pattani at 2am yesterday by five to six suspected insurgents on motorbikes. Some 22 cameras on seven electric poles in Tambon Taluban and Trohbon were burnt with rubber inner tubes, while four others were set on fire along Number 42 road (Pattani-Narathiwat) in Tambon Tabing.
Meanwhile, thieves broke into Tambon Kadunong Health Promotion Hospital and stole a television and a computer, as well as oxygen and gas tanks. This caused suspicion that insurgents may use the tanks to make bombs.
At 4pm yesterday, a home-made bomb went off in front of a grocery opposite Nikhom Thepa Market in Songkhla’s Thepa district, which borders the restive region, but no injuries or deaths were reported.
In related news, Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre secretary-general Thawee Sodsong presided over a ceremony on Friday morning to give out Bt2.53 million in aid to 212 people who were wrongfully detained during the Tak Bai incident in Pattani on October 25, 2004.

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