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Southeast Asia
Armed men burn down school building in southern Thailand
As hundreds of schools in Pattani province opened after a 10-day suspension following the November 22 killing of Nanthana Kaewchan, the director of a school in Nong Chik district, a group of armed men early yesterday morning set fire to a two-story school building in Panare district. The Southern Teachers Federation had closed schools in the province to pressure authorities into providing more security for teachers following Nanthana's death.

At around 1:30 a.m., 15 men in black claimed to be state officials wanting to check out the school before the resumption of classes, but then tied up three village defense volunteers on the football field and set fire to the building before fleeing. A teachers' room and much office equipment were damaged while the infirmary and library were partly destroyed.

This arson attack followed the burning of a school building in Panare district at 1:30 a.m. on November 29. Three Buddhist teachers at Tha Kham Cham School, who feared for their safety were transferred, leaving only four teachers to take care of 110 students.

In the neighboring Yala province, the Army beefed up security for teachers around the clock. National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said security would be provided to teachers and that officials would watch out for terrorists' insurgents' moves during the New Year period. The terrorists separatists were losing sympathisers, he added.

Teacher gunned down in Narathiwat

A 32-year-old female teacher was gunned down by suspected terrorists militants in Narathiwat province on Monday despite a enhanced security for teachers in the deep South. Schoolteacher Chatsuda Nilsuwan was shot four times by a motorcycle pillion rider while she was on her way from the school to her house in the evening.

Witnesses said that the teacher was traveling alone on her motorcycle without military protection because she had finished work later than usual.

Chatsuda was the 155th teacher killed since the southern insurgency flared up in 2004.
Posted by:ryuge