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Battles in south kill three

Authorities in the violent Thai south killed two insurgents in a gunfight early on March 19, shortly before a vendor was fatally shot in a drive-by attack by militants, police said.

Friday 25 March 2011, 12:14AM


 

Authorities in the violent Thai south killed two insurgents in a gunfight early on March 19, shortly before a vendor was fatally shot in a drive-by attack by militants, police said.

 

A 30-strong security force surrounded a house in Yala province on a tip-off that four separatists were hiding inside, and the two groups exchanged fire for approximately 20 minutes, police said.

 

Two were killed and another two escaped.

 

Later, in nearby Pattani province, two gunmen killed a vendor in a drive-by shooting, while three military rangers in Narathiwat province were injured in grenade attacks.

 

Shadowy Islamic militants have waged an uprising in Thailand’s southernmost region bordering Malaysia since early 2004, leaving more than 4,400 people dead, including both Muslims and Buddhists.

 

Violence has recently intensified in the region, where critics accuse the government of failing to address the grievances of the Malay Muslim minority, including alleged abuses by the military.

 

-AFP

 

 

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