'Thai separatists' launch series of attacks

One killed and more than 10 injured as suspected Muslim separatists launch more than 30 attacks in the south.

    'Thai separatists' launch series of attacks
    More than 40 people have been killed in separatists attacks in southern Thailand this year [AFP]

    Suspected Muslim separatists in southern Thailand have launched a wave of more than 30 attacks including shootings, bombings and arson, police said, killing one person and injuring more than 10.

    Paradorn Pattanathabutr, a security adviser to the prime minister, said on Monday the targets included a shopping centre, which was set on fire, and electricity pylons.

    "One woman has died and more than ten others were injured," Paradorn told the Reuters news agency.

    "We believe the perpetrators are rebel Muslim groups trying to recruit more people for their cause,"

    Police in Narathiwat province, close to Thailand's border with Malaysia, said bomb attacks were carried out at more than 10 locations and a Muslim woman was killed in one blast.

    Thailand is predominantly Buddhist but parts of the south, in particular the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, are majority Muslim and decades-old resistance to central government rule resurfaced violently in 2004.

    More than 5,700 people have been killed in the south since January 2004 and more than 40 have been killed this year.

    There are various rebel factions whose main demand is for greater autonomy for what they say is their long-neglected region.

    The opening of peace talks with some of the rebels last year has done nothing to end the violence.

    Meetings have been postponed and the talks appear to have stalled, with Thailand's caretaker government preoccupied with surviving protests against it in Bangkok.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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