6 dead in attacks in insurgency-plagued southern Thailand

AP News
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Posted: Jul 11, 2015 3:39 AM

PADANG BESAR, Thailand (AP) — Six people were killed and 11 others wounded in a series of attacks in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, police said Saturday.

More than 5,000 people in Thailand's southernmost provinces have been killed since a Muslim separatist insurgency erupted in 2004. The insurgents have not issued specific demands but are generally believed to be fighting for an independent state.

Three women were killed by a motorcycle bomb that exploded late Friday night near a karaoke bar in the border town of Padang Besar, said Police Lt. Col. Niyom Dumla-iad. Three other people were hurt and the explosion damaged the bar and nearby houses, cars and motorcycles.

Arson was blamed for the deaths of three people at a shop in Sungai Kolok, another border town, where eight other people were wounded by an improvised bomb hidden in a planter in front of a hotel. Three of those hurt were women from Laos.

The Thai border towns have a reputation for a nightlife catering to visitors from across the border in more puritanical Malaysia, where traditional Islamic morality is more strictly enforced. The attacks came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Police Col. Kong-at Suwannakam said attackers suspected to be Muslim separatists also threw giant firecrackers at restaurants and set fire to two other shops in Sungai Kolok, leaving eight people wounded.

In Yala province, improvised bombs toppled eight electricity transmission towers overnight, police said.