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Pattaya Daily News

31 October 2011 :: 10:10:03 am 59562

Explosions, shootings rock troubled Thai south

NARATHIWAT, October 30, 2011 - A dozen small explosions shook Thailand's Muslim-majority deep south on Sunday, hours after gunmen shot dead three Buddhists at a petrol station in the restive region, police said.
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There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths from the blasts, which struck five districts of Narathiwat Province bordering Malaysia, officials said.

“Most of the explosions were from hand-made devices planted in front of convenience stores or telephone booths and lightly injured several people,” said provincial police chief Major General Chaithat Intanuthip.

“So far there were no reports of serious casualties.”

Earlier Sunday unknown gunmen shot dead three people including a 75-year-old man at a petrol station in the same province.

Thailand’s southernmost provinces have been plagued by more than eight years of conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 4,800 people, both Muslims and Buddhists.

People in the region complain of a long history of discrimination against ethnic Malay Muslims by authorities in the Buddhist-majority nation, including alleged abuses by the armed forces.

The latest blasts came less than a week after 15 explosions blamed on suspected Muslim rebels ripped through a town in neighbouring Yala province, killing at least one civilian and wounding dozens more.

That attack coincided with the seventh anniversary of a protest in the region that left 85 anti-government demonstrators dead, most of whom suffocated or were crushed to death while being transported to a detention centre.

Rights groups have said the failure of Thai authorities to hold security forces to account over the deaths has fuelled further violence and alienation in the region.

Observers say there has been more frequent and intense violence in recent months.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : AFP   Category : Thailand News

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