Thai police say four soldiers have been killed in an attack on a rural road in the country's south.

Police Colonel Lukman Bakoh told Associated Press news agency on Wednesday the soldiers were travelling in a personal car when a group of more than five suspected attackers started to open fire on them on a road in Raman district in Yala province.

He said the attackers used rifles until the vehicle stopped, then they pulled the officers from the vehicle and fired at them repeatedly.

Lukman said the attackers also stole three rifles and a pistol from the soldiers before fleeing the scene.

Yala is one of the three Muslim-majority provinces in predominantly Buddhist Thailand.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since an insurgency began in the region in 2004.

Source: Associated Press