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Asia-Pacific
Bomb blasts kill troops in Thailand's south
Attacks in Yala province occur as clashes with Cambodian troops continue for ninth day.
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2011 17:10
In addition to the southern unrest, the Thai military now faces a low-intensity war on the Cambodian border [Reuters]

Police in Thailand say twin bomb attacks have killed two paramilitary soldiers and wounded nine others in the country's south.

Kritsanapong Paetsit, a police spokesperson, said on Saturday that a group of at least five fighters set off a roadside bomb that hurled a military vehicle off the road in Yala province.

The blast wounded four rangers who were on patrol, sparking an exchange of gunfire that lasted for 10 minutes.

A second bomb exploded about 1.5km away from the first attack, killing two rangers and wounding five. The incident happened in Yala's Raman district, Paetsit said.

The attacks coincided with a visit by Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Thai prime minister, to the nearby province of Narathiwat to chair a meeting on development strategy for the southern provinces.

More than 4,200 people have been killed in Thailand's three Muslim-dominated provinces since an uprising erupted there in 2004.

The number of attacks has increased in recent months in what security analysts say could be a response to government claims that its public-relations campaigns were helping to contain the unrest.

Border clashes

Separately, along the country's disputed eastern border, Thai and Cambodian troops exchanged fire for a ninth straight day, both sides said, casting doubt on efforts to end the countries' bloodiest conflict in decades.

Saturday's skirmishes at two ancient temples on their shared jungle frontier erupted just hours after Cambodia announced a second truce in as many days, although Thailand denied knowledge of a new peace deal.

Each side has traded accusations of untrustworthiness in solving a dispute that has killed 16 people and displaced more than 85,000 civilians.

"Even though there is a recent ceasefire... Thailand still breached it," Hor Namhong, Cambodia's foreign minister said in Phnom Penh on Saturday.

"It shows that we cannot trust our counterpart."

Hor's comments echoes those made by Thai officials a day earlier.

There were no reports of new deaths, although at least 10 Thai soldiers were injured in clashes on Friday night and Saturday morning, army sources in Thailand said.

Source:
Agencies
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