The militants' attack on the Bacho marine base in Narathiwat at 1am on Wednesday was supposed to be their crowning moment. After all, an endless string of high-profile attacks since the beginning of this year had not failed to put the security forces to shame while keeping the southern Muslims in paralysing fear.
For example, the shooting of a teacher in front of his pupils, a car bomb that killed five soldiers, a bloody ambush that killed two farmers during their mission to help revive long abandoned ricefields, and the cold-blooded murder of four fruit vendors. Meanwhile, the security forces were at their wits' end when the CCTVs in various locations were torched and destroyed in successive attacks. The escalating violence has made the Yingluck administration so anxious that the curfew idea has been brought out again.
The surprise attack on the marine base was intended to be a spectacular show of the insurgents' deadly force to gain revenge for the killing of their compatriots in a recent clash. As it turned out, the fully armed militants walked into a death trap.