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PUBLISHED: Nov 13, 2015 11:54am

Bomb kills four in Thailand’s deep south

A forensic expert holds up an evidence near the site where soldiers were attacked by suspected Muslim militants at Sai Buri district in the troubled southern province of Pattani, Thailand, October 19, 2015. A roadside bomb killed two paramilitary soldiers and wounded five others in violence-plagued southern Thailand, where the military is fighting Malay Muslim insurgents rebelling against rule by the country's Buddhist majority. The blast hit their vehicle during a routine patrol in the Sai Buri district of Pattani province, Colonel Pramote Prom-in, a regional security spokesman, told Reuters on Monday. REUTERS/Surapan Boonthanom

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Reuters

A forensic expert holds up an evidence near the site where soldiers were attacked by suspected Muslim militants at Sai Buri district in the troubled southern province of Pattani, Thailand, on Oct 19, 2015. -- Reuters pic

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BANGKOK, Nov 13, 2015:

A bomb blast at a village checkpoint in Thailand’s deep south killed four people and wounded four others, police said on Friday, in the latest deadly attack to strike the insurgency-plagued region.

The bomb exploded late Thursday evening in Khok Pho district of Pattani, one of three Muslim dominated provinces where insurgents are fighting for greater autonomy.

Police Colonel Tanongsak Wansupha, commander of Pattani police, said the bomb was planted by insurgents, though, as with most attacks in the region, there was no claim of responsibility.

“The culprits placed a bomb under a chair at the checkpoint killing four people,” said Tanongsak.

“This attack was to disrupt stir unrest.”

Since 2004, more than 6,500 people have been killed in the sporadic violence in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, all provinces bordering Malaysia.

Thailand is a Buddhist-majority country but the south is Muslim-dominated and resistance to Buddhist rule has existed for decades.

It has occasionally spilled into nearby Songkhla province, thronged by tourists from neighbouring Malaysia. The provinces were once part of a Malay Muslim sultanate until the area was annexed by Thailand in 1902.

Shortly after taking power in a 2004 coup, Thailand’s ruling junta vowed to bring peace to the south within a year.

It has made contact with some rebel leaders but talks aimed at brokering peace between insurgent groups and the Thai government facilitated by Malaysia have largely stalled due to internal discord within rebel ranks and the Thai military, as well as scepticism on both sides.

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