PATTANI, Thailand (Reuters) - A bomb exploded in front of a supermarket on Tuesday in the Thai city of Pattani, wounding about 20 people, a military spokesman said, in what appeared to be the latest attack by Muslim separatists in the south of the predominantly Buddhist country.
A decades-old separatist insurgency in the largely ethnic Malay Muslim provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat has killed more than 6,500 people since 2004, according to independent monitoring group Deep South Watch.
Pramote Prom-in, a spokesman for the Thai military in the area, said a suspected car bomb had exploded at the entrance of the Big-C supermarket in Pattani.
"The explosion wounded about 20 people," he said. No deaths had been reported, he said.
Attacks in Thailand's deep south have intensified this year.
Last month, the government rejected a conditional offer for peace talks by one of the main insurgent groups, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, which demanded international mediation or observation.
(Reporting by Surapan Boonthanom; Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat in BANGKOK; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Robert Birsel)