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Thailand

Motorcycle bomb explodes at pork stall in Thailand’s restive south, killing 3 and wounding 18

It was the first such attack in the Muslim-majority region for months

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 January, 2018, 11:10am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 January, 2018, 12:23pm

A motorcycle bomb exploded in a market in Thailand’s southern Yala province on Monday, killing three people and wounding 19.

The mostly Muslim provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala in Thailand’s far south are home to a long-running insurgency by ethnic Malay Muslims fighting for autonomy in which more than 6,000 people have been killed since 2004.

“Suspects parked the motorcycle in front of a stall selling pork in downtown Yala … it detonated killing three civilians and wounding 19 others,” a policeman said, requesting anonymity.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack on Monday, which took place at a roadside morning market.

The region has seen hundreds of attacks since 2004, many of them deadly, but there had been fewer violent incidents of late.

Analysts who monitor the conflict say violence from the insurgency fell to a historic low in 2017 despite the fact that talks aimed at bringing peace gained little traction.

Thailand’s military government has tried to revive talks with rebel groups initiated by the previous civilian government, but they have gone almost nowhere.

Resistance to Buddhist rule from Bangkok has existed for decades in the predominantly Muslim southern provinces, waning briefly in the 1990s before resurfacing violently in 2004.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse