Militant attacks in South Thailand leave 11 dead in one day
Suspected Muslim militants have shot dead 11 people in one day in Thailand's insurgency-plagued deep south, police said yesterday.
Three paramilitary rangers were ambushed while travelling in a pickup truck on Monday in Pattani province in the Muslim-majority border region. On the same day, four Buddhist rubber tappers died on their way to work in two separate gun attacks in Pattani, while a pair of Muslim men were killed in a drive-by shooting in neighbouring Yala province, police said.
Two vegetable vendors were also shot dead in Songkhla province, which had been relatively untouched by the violence until a number of attacks this year, including a series of car bombs in April that left 15 people dead.
A complex insurgency calling for greater autonomy has plagued Thailand's far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004, claiming more than 5,300 lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with near daily bomb or gun attacks.
The authorities said in August they were holding informal peace talks with some insurgent groups, in an apparent policy reversal after a spike in attacks.