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Pattaya Daily News

26 October 2011 :: 09:10:11 am 59448

String of Thai south blasts kill one, wound dozens

YALA, October 25, 2011- A series of explosives planted by suspected Muslim rebels ripped through a town in Thailand's troubled south on Tuesday, killing at least one civilian and wounding dozens more.
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Officials said 15 blasts were heard across Yala and caused chaos in the town, marking the seventh anniversary of a protest in the insurgency-plagued region that left 85 anti-government demonstrators dead.

At least one civilian was killed and two rebels died when their explosives were prematurely detonated on Tuesday evening, according to governor Krisada Boonrach.

An AFP photographer at a local hospital said more than 50 wounded people, some in a serious condition, had arrived for medical treatment after the blasts, which caused a power blackout across the city.

The violence was latest in a series of increasingly brazen attacks by shadowy rebels in the Muslim-majority Thai south, which has been plagued by more than eight years of conflict claiming more than 4,800 lives.

Tuesday’s blasts, initially thought to be caused by a mixture of motorcycle and remote-controlled bombs, came on the anniversary one the region’s deadliest incidents on October 25, 2004.

Seven people were shot dead as security forces broke up a protest in the town of Tak Bai, and 78 more suffocated or were crushed to death in trucks 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 southern region bordering Malaysia.

The insurgents are not thought to be part of a global jihad movement but are instead rebelling against a long history of perceived discrimination against ethnic Malay Muslims by governments in the Buddhist-majority nation.

Deep South Watch, which closely monitors the conflict, said earlier this year that more than half of the victims are Muslims, many apparently targeted because they are seen as traitors for cooperating with the local authorities.

On Sunday at least seven people were killed in back-to-back shooting and bomb attacks in a town in Narathiwat province, neighbouring Yala.

Late last month, more than a dozen suspected insurgents attacked a school in Narathiwat, killing four soldiers and seriously wounding one child.

Teachers working in state schools are frequently targeted because they are seen as a symbol of government authority and an education system perceived as an effort by Bangkok to impose Buddhist culture.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : AFP   Category : Thailand News

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