HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — A roadside bomb killed four army rangers and wounded five other rangers and a civilian Friday in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, police said.
Pol. Col. Mana Daechawarit of the Sai Buri district police station in Pattani province said the soldiers were on a morning patrol in Pattani province when the pickup truck in which they were traveling was struck by the blast. The wounded civilian was a passing motorist.
More than 6,500 people have been killed since a Muslim separatist insurgency flared in Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat in 2004. The three province are the only with a Muslim majority in the predominantly Buddhist country. Recent cease-fire talks between the government and some separatist factions have made little progress.
Col. Pramote Promin, spokesman for the military's Internal Security Operations Command, told local television station TPBS that Friday's blast was an attack that targeted government officials. He said the injuries to those wounded were not believed to be serious.
This story has been corrected to show police station mentioned in second paragraph is in Pattani instead of Narathiwat province.