Whilst Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, the deep south of the country is very different. The provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat have historically seen themselves in a different light to the rest of the country. The population here is majority Muslim and the dialect spoken is unique to the region. There has long been a campaign for separation from the rest of Thailand, but since 2004 that campaign has intensified and resulted in murders, bombings and arson. Nearly 2,000 people have lost their lives in the bloodshed. Many of the Muslim population feel they are treated as second-class citizens by the government. The radical elements in the provinces have launched a concerted and ongoing campaign that has included beheadings of Buddhist monks.
Given the severity of the problem, it surprises me how little is known about the situation outside of Thailand. I believe it is because it is seen as a local issue and the violence has mainly been confined to these three provinces. It has also been well away from the main tourist areas.