Bombs kill policeman, wound 13 civilians in southern Thailand

May 18th, 2008 - 7:40 pm ICT by admin  

Bangkok, May 18 (DPA) One police officer was killed and 13 people wounded in two bombings in Thailand’s deep South, state-run media reported Sunday. A blast outside the Pattani police station killed one officer and wounded five Saturday night, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported. The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle that was parked opposite the police station.

A second blast in Narathiwat Saturday wounded eight people, including one Malaysian, TNA said. It was planted in a motorcycle parked at the market in front of the Sungai Kolok police station, near the border with Malaysia.

The bomb attacks were the latest acts of violence terrorising the region comprising Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces, where more than 3,000 people have fallen victim to clashes, explosions, beheadings and assassinations since early 2004.

The area bordering Malaysia was the independent Islamic sultanate of Pattani more than 200 years ago, before it fell under Bangkok’s rule in the early 1900s. More than 80 percent of the two million inhabitants are Muslims, making the region an anomaly in predominantly Buddhist Thailand.

A separatist struggle has simmered in the area for decades but took a turn for the worse in January 2004 when Muslim militants attacked an army depot and stole 300 weapons, prompting a crackdown that further inflamed the local population against the government.

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