The Troubled South

The old woman we encounter in an isolated village in Narathiwat province visibly shakes with terror at the approach of outsiders. A week before, her husband had been wounded by an unknown gunman, and government soldiers now stand guard in the shadowy rubber plantations surrounding their simple tin-roofed home. If the soldiers had not been there when TIME's reporters approached, the old woman later vows, she would have taken her husband's rifle and "I would have shot you myself." Tourist brochures call Thailand the Land of Smiles. But in villages across its troubled Muslim-majority south, strangers are now greeted with suspicion...

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