BANGKOK – At least three people were killed and five others injured in two attacks carried out by alleged insurgents within hours in southern Thailand, Thai authorities told EFE on Monday.
Two volunteer rangers were killed in a shooting on Sunday afternoon by an unidentified insurgent group on a road in Narathiwat province, a Palukasamo police station spokesperson told EFE.
On Sunday evening, a home-made explosive device placed behind Chana district railway station in Songkhla province killed a policeman and injured 5 others, including two civilians, officials told EFE.
National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda told local media on Monday that he had instructed police in the southern border provinces to step up security, believing that insurgents will increase attacks before the end of Ramadan.
Attacks and killings are not uncommon in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat despite the deployment of 40,000 security forces members and the impositions of states of emergency and martial law.
Nearly 7,000 people been killed in the area since the Muslim separatist movement resumed its armed struggle in 2004 after a decade of relative calm, according to the estimates of the organization Deep South Watch.
The military junta has tried to resume talks with veteran rebels in exile since then, but the key insurgent group, Barisan Revolusi Nasional, has refused to negotiate.
Insurgents of ethnic Malay and Muslim faith – the majority in the region – denounce discrimination suffered under the Buddhist government and demand more autonomy and even the creation of an Islamic state that integrates the three provinces that formed the former Pattani Sultanate that Thailand annexed in 1909.