Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Education under Attack 2010 - Thailand

Publisher UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Publication Date 10 February 2010
Cite as UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Education under Attack 2010 - Thailand, 10 February 2010, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Southern Teachers' Federation reported that 117 teachers had been killed by 16 June 2009, and two further killings brought the reported total to 119 by the end of July 2009.692

According to Ministry of Education (MoE) figures, the number of arson attacks against schools rose from 43 in 2006 to 164 in 2007, then fell to just ten in 2008 during a lull in the conflict. However, the MoE also reported that 14 schools were burned down in Narathiwat and Pattani in 2008.693

Although there appears to have been a relative respite in 2008, levels of violence seem to have again increased in 2009.694 Press reports indicate that the number of teachers killed was 11 in 2007 and 9 in 2008, but was already at 8 in the first six months of 2009.

The victims in attacks on education, according to press reports of incidents, include members of security details/guards, school janitors, school bus drivers and school builders, as well as students and teachers.

In 2009, as of July, eight teachers, one janitor and ten security guards/escorts had been killed; three teachers and 16 guards/escorts had been injured; and one teacher had been beaten.

In 2008, nine teachers, two janitors, one bus driver, five school builders and 11 guards/escorts were killed; one teacher, one school builder and 13 guards/escorts were injured; two students were tortured; and eight students were detained, two of them twice.

In 2007, 11 teachers, 20 students and 12 escorts/guards/bomb disposal officers were killed; three teachers, 14 students and seven guards/escorts were injured.695

The total number killed in education attacks was 43 in 2007, 28 in 2008 and 19 in the first half of 2009. The total injured was 24 in 2007, 15 in 2008 and 19 in 2009, as of July.

The killings included many incidents of security details being attacked via remotely controlled explosions while escorting teachers, or on their way to or from escorting teachers. In one incident, two soldiers from a security detail were beheaded.696

There were four reported cases of teachers being shot in front of pupils, two of them in front of pupils aged 9 to 11; four cases of teachers being shot or blown up in front of other colleagues; and one case of a teacher being incinerated alive in his car.697

Most of the teachers killed were assassinated individually, many of them by motorbike pillion passenger assassins following them to work or home, many others while riding on their own motorbikes to or from work.

A chillingly complex operation was carried out on 2 June 2009 when insurgents attacked a pick-up truck carrying six teachers home from schools in Ja Nae District, Narathiwat Province. Gunmen disguised as government soldiers on motorbikes overtook a truck carrying a group of teachers and forced it to stop at a fake roadblock set up by other gunmen in their group.698 Two Buddhist Thai teachers were singled out and killed: Atcharapon Tehpsor, a teacher at Ban Dusung Ngor School, who was eight months pregnant, and Warunee Navaka, a teacher at Barn Ri Nge School.699

Buddhist teachers were not the only targets. Muslim teachers were killed for "collaborating" with the state education system. There were also revenge killings on teachers in Muslim schools.

In the morning of 28 July 2009, an explosion in front of Dusongyor School, Cha-nae District, Narathiwat Province, injured six soldiers as their patrol unit passed in front of the school.700

On 30 June 2009, suspected militants followed and killed an Islamic teacher as he left evening class at a religious school in Narathiwat Province.701 On 28 June, Muslim separatists shot a female teacher dead in Narathiwat Province.702

On 16 June 2009, at least two militants shot dead Lekha Issara, a teacher at Ban Poh Maeng School, as she rode to work on a motorcycle in Raman District, Yala Province.703

On 15 June 2009, suspected insurgents shot dead a school janitor on his way to work in Pattani.704

On 6 June 2009, militants killed Matohe Yama, a teacher at Ban Palukasamo, Bajoh District, Narathiwat Province.705

On 5 June 2009, two school guards - one Muslim, one Buddhist - were killed in drive-by shootings in Pattani Province.706

On 4 June 2009, two elementary teachers were critically wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Sungai Padi District, Narathiwat. The bomb was detonated by mobile phone as more than ten teachers were passing in a ten-vehicle security convoy. Also that day, three policemen in a teacher escort team were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Raman District.707

On 19 May 2009, Natthapol Janae, an elementary teacher at Nikhom Pattana Park Tai School, Bannang Sta District, Yala Province, was shot dead as he rode home from work.708

On 26 March 2009, Bhuvanart Yeeji, a teacher in Khok Pho District, Pattani, was shot dead and Solahuddin Hayeewaeji, a school manager at Muhammadeeya School, was shot and wounded when gunmen broke into a staff meeting.709

On 13 March 2009, two soldiers from a teacher protection team were ambushed and shot dead in Narathiwat Province; two others were wounded.710 That night, insurgents burned down two schools in Pattani.711 On 12 March 2009, four soldiers waiting to escort a group of teachers to school were wounded when a bomb hidden on the roadside was detonated, in the village of Tasah, Takbai District, Narathiwat.712

On 12 February 2009, suspected insurgents attacked ten soldiers returning from escorting teachers to school in Yala. Two soldiers who became separated from the main group were killed and decapitated.713

Also on 12 February 2009, three policemen escorting teachers to work in Pattani were killed and one was injured in a roadside bombing.714 On 11 February, two men were shot dead in front of a school in Pattani.715

On 14 January 2009, Makosi Mama, a school defence volunteer, was shot dead.716

On 7 January 2009, a bomb was detonated outside a school in Muang District, Yala Province, aimed at a passing teacher escort patrol.717

The MoE reported that 304 schools had been burned down in the south of Thailand from 2004 to 2008.718

On 29 December 2008, two soldiers inspecting a road to a school were shot dead by insurgents in Narathiwat.719

Also on 29 December 2008, suspected militants shot at a teacher escort patrol in Yaha District, Yala, killing one soldier and wounding three others.720

On 26 December 2008, rebels fired shots into a school and burned a teacher's car in Yarang District, Pattani.721 On the same day, in Krong Pinang District, Yala Province, suspected separatists triggered a bomb explosion, injuring two soldiers in a student/ teacher escort patrol.722

On 24 December 2008, three soldiers from a teacher escort unit were injured when a bomb was detonated on the grounds of a school in Sai Buri District, Pattani Province.723 In the same district, on 22 December 2008, one soldier was lightly injured when a teacher protection team came under fire.724

On 18 December 2008, a bomb was detonated outside a school in Bacho District, Narathiwat, injuring one police officer posted at the school.725 On the same day, in Yaring District, Pattani Province, two members of a teacher escort team were injured when a roadside bomb was detonated.726

On 16 December 2008, two soldiers were killed and one was injured when a teacher escort patrol came under attack in Thung Yang Daeng District, Pattani Province.727

On 24 November 2008, a teacher was shot and seriously wounded en route to school in Pattani.728

On 5 November 2008, a school janitor was shot dead on his way to work in Yala, and an elementary school was burned down in Narathiwat Province.729

On 3 November 2008, a bomb was detonated on a road to a school, as soldiers inspected the route in advance of a convoy of teachers arriving.730

On 19 September 2008, a school was burned down in Yala.731 On 8 September 2008, a school janitor was killed on his way to work in Pattani Province.732

On 25 August 2008, six soldiers guarding teachers were wounded when a bomb was detonated outside an elementary school in Narathiwat.733

On 25 July 2008, a teacher was killed in a drive-by shooting in Yarang District, Pattani.734

On 23 July 2008, two soldiers in a teacher escort unit were seriously wounded in a roadside explosion in Yala Province.735

On 14 July 2008, 11 teachers were moved from their school in Songkhla District after a member of their escort detail was killed in a bomb attack.736

On 2 July 2008, Veera Muenjan, principal of Ban Ma Hae elementary school, was shot dead by insurgents, triggering the closure of 55 government schools for several days.737

On 1 July 2008, a school bus driver was shot dead by insurgents in Yala on his way to pick up children from school, and five soldiers protecting teachers in Pattani Province were injured in a roadside explosion.738

On 24 June 2008, three soldiers in a teacher escort team were wounded in a bomb blast at a school in Yaring District, Pattani. Three shots were fired into Ban Krulae School, Raman District, Yala. Teachers ordered children to get out of the classroom for their safety.739

On 11 June 2008, a teacher was shot dead in Yala Province.740

On 9 June 2008, separatists killed eight soldiers, and decapitated one of them, when they ambushed a teacher protection unit in Chanae District, Narathiwat.741

On 20 May 2008, suspected insurgents shot dead an Islamic teacher on his way to a school in Yala.742

On 24 April 2008, militants shot dead five labourers who arrived at a school to construct a new school building. Another was wounded.743

On 29 February 2008, two rangers were killed in a gun battle when ten rebels attacked an army post at a primary school in Narathiwat Province.744

On 5 February 2008, a religious teacher at a private Islamic school was allegedly beaten, kicked, jumped on and suffocated with plastic bags by border police.745

On 8 January 2008, a religious teacher, aged 30, was shot dead in Yala Province.746

On 7 November 2007, two bomb disposal officers were killed and one injured, while trying to diffuse a bomb planted in front of a school in Pattani Province.747 Two teachers were reported killed in the first week of November.748

In late September 2007, three female teachers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack.749

On 27 August 2007, a teacher was shot dead by a drive-by assassin as she stepped off a bus in Pattani Province.750

On 7 August 2007, two soldiers were killed and two injured in a roadside bomb attack while escorting teachers home from school in Pattani Province.751

On 31 July 2007, a bomb injured two marines protecting a convoy of teachers.752

Between 11 and 18 June 2007, four teachers and eight soldiers from escort teams were killed; three soldiers from escort teams were injured in bomb attacks and shootings; 13 schools were burned down; and a vocational school was bombed.753

On 13 May 2007, an elementary school was burned down in Bangasod, Bannang Sata District, Yala.754

On 4 May 2007, two schools were burned down in Yala.755

Between 6 May 2007 and 17 September 2007, nine teachers were killed and six schools set on fire, according to government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp.756

On 23 April 2007, a school was set on fire by suspected insurgents in Narathiwat Province.757 Two schools were reported torched in Narathiwat on 19 February 2007.758

In November 2006, five teachers were killed, two were injured and ten schools were set on fire. On 24 November, insurgents shot and burned to death teacher Non Chaisuwan in front of staff and students in Sai Buri District, Pattani. The incident triggered the closure of nearly a thousand schools for a week.759

In July 2008, insurgents allegedly issued a fatwa permitting the targeting of students.760 However, students had already been targeted for some time with as many as 30 killed and 14 injured in 2007 and 2008 (as of 31 July) – mostly in incidents in which students were shot on buses or, in one case, in their dormitory.761

On 1 July 2007, gunmen opened fire on a 58-year-old Islamic teacher and five students in Pattani Province, killing the teacher and two boys, aged 9 and 11.762

In two separate incidents in November 2007, a Muslim student was shot dead in Pattani Province763 and another was killed in Yala.764

On 18 March 2007, three students were killed and seven injured when assailants attacked an Islamic boarding school, Bamrungsart Pondok School, in Sabyoi District, Songkhla Province. Attackers hurled explosives and fired bullets into dormitories where 75 boys were sleeping. Two boys aged 14 and one aged 12 were killed. Seven students, aged 13 to 17, were treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries.765

On 14 March 2007, five primary pupils were injured when gunmen fired on their bus in Narathiwat, and two teenage girls were killed on their way to final examinations in Yala Province when their minibus was attacked. Rebels placed logs on the road to force it to stop and put chains of spikes down to stop other vehicles approaching.766

Human rights organizations alleged that separatists were recruiting children to carry out attacks. The most active separatist group, the National Revolutionary Front-Coordinate (BRN-C), reportedly selected students from Islamic schools for after-school study groups that were used to recruit children.767

The International Crisis Group warned in June 2009 that Thai insurgents continued to enlist young Malay Muslims, especially from private Islamic schools. The classroom is the first point of contact. Recruiters are believed to target devout, hard-working students to join extracurricular indoctrination programmes, during which their suitability is assessed.768

[Refworld note: The source report "Education under Attack 2010" was posted on the UNESCO website ( in pdf format, with country chapters run together. Original footnote numbers have been retained here.]

692 AFP, "Female Teacher Killed in Thai South: Police," June16, 2009,

693 The Nation, "PM Plays Down Safety Concerns Ahead of South Visit," January 17, 2009; and US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: Thailand (US Department of State, 2009).

694 Amnesty International, "Thailand: Five People Beheaded in Wave of Brutal Insurgent Attacks on Civilians," April 2, 2009,

695 Figures for 2007, 2008 and 2009 are counts of incidents found reported in media reports mostly from AFP, but also from The Nation; Reuters; HRW, Human Rights Watch World Report 2009: Thailand (New York: HRW, 2009); HRW, "Thailand: Insurgents Target Teachers in the South," June 18, 2009; International Crisis Group (ICG), Recruiting Militants in Southern Thailand, Asia Report no. 170 (June 22, 2009); Voice of America; AP; Xinhua; China Post; Al Jazeera; Amnesty International; US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: Thailand; IPS; Thai News Agency; AKI; CBS News; and New York Times.

696 AFP, "Two Soldiers Beheaded in Thai South: Police," February 20, 2009,

697 AFP, "Teachers Targeted in Thailand's Deadly Insurgency," March 20, 2008; Amnesty International, "Thailand: Five People Beheaded in Wave of Brutal Insurgent Attacks on Civilians"; AFP, "Thailand: Bomb Injures 14 in Thai Muslim South," June 18, 2007; Marwaan Macan-Markar, "Thailand: Schools Prime Targets for Malay-Muslim Rebels," IPS, news=38191; and AFP, 'Four Thais Killed, Five Injured in Southern Violence," July 2, 2007, http://

698 AFP, "Bombs Wound Five in Fresh Thai South Violence," June 4, 2009.

699 HRW, "Thailand: Insurgents Target Teachers."

700 Bangkok Post, "Many Injured by School Bomb in South," July 28, 2009; and The Nation, "6 Soldiers Injured in Narathiwat Bomb Ambush," July 28, 2009.

701 AFP, "Islamic Teacher, Teen Killed in Thai South: Police," June 30, 2009,

702 AFP, "Insurgents Kill Female Teacher in Thai South: Police," June 28, 2009, http://ww

703 HRW, "Thailand: Insurgents Target Teachers"; China Post, "Teacher Killed by Alleged Insurgents in Thai South," June 17, 2009, d/2009/06/17/212492/Teacher-killed.htm; and AFP, "Female Teacher Killed in Thai South: Police," June 16, 2009.

704 Reuters, "Thai Buddhist Beheaded, Another Shot in Muslim South," June 15, 2009.

705 HRW, "Thailand: Insurgents Target Teachers."

706 AFP, "Five Killed in Attacks as Thai PM Meets on Restive South," June 5, 2009,

707 Post Reporters, "Teachers demand better protection," Bangkok Post, June 5, 2009; Bangkok Post, "Two More Injured in Bomb Attack," reproduced by BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, June 5, 2009; and AFP, "Bomb Wounds Five in Fresh Thai South Violence."

708 HRW, "Thailand: Insurgents Target Teachers"; AFP, "Teacher Among Two Dead in Thai South: Police," May 19, 2009, w=category&id=153&Itemid=100405.

709 Amnesty International, "Thailand: Five people beheaded"; AFP, "Six Killed in Southern Thailand Violence: Police," March 26, 2009, m_content&view=category&id=153&Itemid=100405; and Post Reporters, "Defence Plans to Arm Teachers," Bangkok Post, March 27, 2009, defence-plans-to-arm-teachers.

710 AFP, "Two Thai Soldiers Killed in Militant Ambush: Police," March 13, 2009,

711 AP, "2 Wounded in Attacks in Restive Southern Thailand," March 14, 2009.

712 Xinhua, "Security Force Attacked by Suspected Militant Bomb in S. Thailand," March 12, 2009.

713 AFP, "Two Soldiers Beheaded in Thai South."

714 AFP, "Six Killed in Thailand's Troubled South," February 12, 2009,

715 Ibid.

716 PSA Asia, South Thailand: Security and Terrorism Report, Event Summary (January 20, 2009).

717 Ibid.

718 US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: Thailand.

719 AFP, "Two Soldiers Shot Dead in Thai South: Police," December 29, 2008,

720 PSA Asia, South Thailand, Security and Terrorism Report.

721 Ibid.

722 Ibid.

723 Ibid.

724 Ibid.

725 Ibid.

726 Ibid.

727 Ibid.

728 AFP, "Three Killed, Teacher Injured in Thai South: Police," November 24, 2008,

729 AFP, "Four More Killed in Thailand's Bomb-Hit South: Police," November 5, 2008, http://ww

730 AFP, "Two Killed in Thai South: Police," November 3, 2008, ex.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=153&Itemid=100405.

731 AFP, "Three Killed in Thailand's Muslim South," September 19, 2008, http://www.newssafet

732 AFP, "Two Dead, Two Injured in Thailand's Restive South," September 8, 2008, http://www.n

733 AFP, "Six Soldiers Hurt in Thai South School Bombing: Police," August 25, 2008, http://www.n

734 AFP, "Four Killed in Restive South: Police," July 25, 2008, ex.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=153&Itemid=100405.

735 AFP, "One Killed, Two Hurt as Army Warns of Attacks in Thai South," July 23, 2008, http://w

736 Bangkok Post, "Staff Flee Songkhla School," July 15, 2008,

737 US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: Thailand.

738 Post Reporters, "School Driver Dies in Ambush," Bangkok Post, July 2, 2008; and AFP, "Three Killed in Thailand's Restive Muslim South," July 1, 2008, http://www.newssafet

739 Post Reporters, "Market Bomb Blast in Injures Six Shoppers, Four Soldiers," Bangkok Post, June 24, 2008,

740 AFP, "Four Shot Dead in Thailand's Muslim South: Police," June 12, 2008,

741 Bangkok Pundit, "8 Soldiers Killed in Narathiwat," June 14, 2008, http://us.asiancorrespondent. com/bangkok-pundit-blog/2008/01/8-soldiers-killed-in-narathiwat.html.

742 AFP, "Two Shot Dead in Troubled Southern Thailand," May, 20, 2008, http://www.newssafet

743 AFP, "Rebels Kill Five Labourers in Thai South: Police," April 24, 2008, http://www.newssafe

744 AFP, "Militants Attack Army Post at Thai School: Police," February 29, 2008,

745 ICG, "Thailand: Political Turmoil and the Southern Insurgency," ICG Asia Briefing no. 80 (August 20, 2008).

746 AFP, "Three Muslims Killed in Restive Thai South," January 1, 2008,

747 AFP, "Four Killed in Thai south," November 7, 2007,

748 Ibid.

749 AFP, "Four Killed, Seven Wounded in Attacks in Thai South," September 27, 2007,

750 AFP, "Two Killed in Thailand's Muslim South," August 26, 2007, ndex.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=153&Itemid=100405.

751 AFP, "Four Killed as Thailand Steps Up Crackdown in Muslim South," August 6, 2007, http://w

752 AFP, "One Killed, 12 Hurt as Seven Bombs Rock Thai South," July 31, 2007,

753 See Chapter 4, Timeline: Deaths and disruption, A deadly week in Thailand's schools: 11-18 June, this publication.

754 AKI, "Thailand: 3,000 Police on Guard Against Jihad Attacks as Schools Reopen in the South," May 16, 2007,

755 Reuters, "Gun, Bomb Attacks Kill Six in Thai South," May 5, 2007, http://www.newssafety.or g/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=153&Itemid=100405.

756 APF, "Five Killed in Troubled Thai South," September 17, 2007, dex.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=153&Itemid=100405.

757 AFP, "One Killed, 17 Soldiers Injured in Thai South," April 23, 2007,

758 GMA News, "7 Killed in Series of Attacks in Thailand," February 19, 2007.

759 Marwaan Macan-Markar, "South Thailand: 'They're getting fiercer'," Asia Times, December 7, 2006,; and Sai Slip, "Rights Group Condemns Thai Insurgents Targeting Schools," The Irrawaddy, November 30, 2006,

760 UNICEF, "UN Condemns Attacks on Schoolchildren in Southern Thailand," March 20, 2007,; Scott Conroy, "Attack on Thai School Kills 3 Students," CBS News March 18, 2007, 8/world/main2581686.shtml; AFP, "Nine Shot Dead in Thai Muslim South," March 14, 2007, htt p:// d=100405; and US Department of State, 2008 Human Rights Report: Thailand.

761 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Briefing Paper: Child Recruitment and Use in Southern Thailand (December 2008), 8.

762 AFP, "Four Thais killed, Five Injured."

763 AFP, "Eight Killed in Turbulent Thai South," November 5, 2007,

764 AFP, "Four (Sic) Killed in Thai South," AFP, November 7, 2007,

765 Scott Conroy, "Attack on Thai School Kills 3 Students."

766 UNICEF, "UN Condemns Attacks on Schoolchildren in Southern Thailand"; and AFP, "Nine Shot Dead in Thai Muslim South."

767 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008.

768 ICG, "Recruiting Militants in Southern Thailand," media release, June 22, 2009.

Search Refworld