HAT YAI, Thailand – A Buddhist monk and a Thai policeman have been killed and six other people wounded in a bomb attack by suspected Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand, Fox News reports.
Police say the bomb was remotely detonated early Saturday in Pattani province, targeting monks who were receiving alms and police officers guarding them.
Police Col. Paiya Karawanan, chief of Saiburi police station, says a monk and an officer were killed. The wounded included another monk, two police and three civilians.
Pattani is one of three Muslim-majority provinces in predominantly Buddhist Thailand. More than 5,000 people have been killed since an Islamic insurgency began in the region in 2004.
The insurgents have not issued specific demands but are generally believed to be fighting for an independent Muslim state.
Local leaders have persistently demanded at least a level of autonomy from Thailand for the Patani region and some of the separatist insurgent movements have made a series of demands for peace talks and negotiations. However, these groups have been largely sidelined by the BRN-C, the group currently spearheading the insurgency which sees no reason for negotiations and is against talks with other insurgent groups. The BRN-C has as its immediate aim to make Southern Thailand ungovernable and has largely been successful at it.
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