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The Tak Bai incident is an event that occurred on October 25, 2004 in Tak Bai, Thailand, which resulted in at least 85 deaths.

Six local men were arrested. A demonstration was organized to demand their release and the police called in army reinforcements. After some demonstrators threw rocks and attempted to storm the police station, security forces used tear gas and gunfire in response.[1]

Hundreds of local people, mostly young men, were arrested. They had their shirts taken off, bound with their hands tied behind their backs, and made to lie face down on the ground. Video footage shows soldiers kicking and beating those already bound and helplessly lying on the ground.[2]

Later that afternoon, those arrested were thrown by soldiers into trucks to be taken to an army camp in the next province of Pattani. The prisoners were stacked five or six deep in the trucks, and by the time the trucks reached their destination three hours later, many had suffocated to death.

Reports claim that 7 died as a result of gunshot wounds. The rest are believed to have died either from suffocation or beatings.[3]

This incident sparked widespread protests across Thailand. VCDs were made by Muslim groups showing footage of the events as well as some speeches. These VCDs were circulated among Muslims in Thailand.[4] The government said that it was illegal to own copies of the VCDs and said it could prosecute anybody who has a copy.[4]

Shortly after the incident, PM Thaksin Shinawatra's first response defended the army's actions and said the men died "because they were already weak from fasting during the month of Ramadan."[5]

As of January 1, 2006, no members of the security forces responsible were brought to justice.[6]

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont gave a formal apology for the incident on 2 November 2006.[7]


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