The prolonged insurgency in Southern Thailand has claimed thousands of victims since the outbreak of major violence in 2004. Drawing on a unique data set covering all violent incidents since 2004, a hotspot analysis shows that the bulk of the violence is concentrated in clusters of sub-districts forming hotbeds of conflict. Drivers of conflict are identified through a comparative analysis of the hotspots of violence with less violent areas. The analysis shows that identity manifested in language use and religious practices (rather than international borders, infrastructure, and physical geography) influence the prevalence and patterns of violence.

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