A separatist group called New PULO splintered off from the main organization in 1995.
The organization carries out car bombs, road side bombs and drive-by shootings targeting Thai military and police.
PULO considers itself to be continuing the independence struggle of the Malay Sultanates after the area declared its independence following the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. The Islamic state proposed by PULO would cover the areas they say were historically ruled by the Sultanate of Pattani - consisting of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla and Satun provinces in present-day Thailand. However, Songkla Province is only about 30% Muslim and mainly Thai speaking, while Satun actually was part of Kedah and has shown virtually no support for separation from Thailand.
On November 27, 2006, the Thai government ordered all schools in the province of Pattani temporarily closed. This was in response to protect its citizen from the upsurge brutal attacks on school teachers -- including women -- in the previous months. Since then, several schools have been burnt by the separatist militants.