Soldier, insurgent killed in Thai south unrest

Source: Reuters

NARATHIWAT, Thailand, Feb 6 (Reuters) – A soldier and suspected insurgent were shot dead in separate attacks on Saturday in Thailand’s rebellious deep south, police said. More than 30 troops came under attack during a raid on a militant hideout early in the morning in Narathiwat. A suspected rebel was killed and several others wounded during the 20-minute gun battle that followed, police said. Narathiwat is one of three mainly Muslim Thai provinces abutting the Malaysian border, where more than 3,900 people have been killed in six years of bloody unrest. In another attack in the same province, one soldier was killed and another seriously wounded when insurgents opened fire on them from a moving pickup truck. Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces, just a few hours away from some of Thailand’s most popular tourist hotspots, were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate until annexation by Buddhist Thailand, then known as Siam, in 1909. Tensions have simmered ever since and the deployment of tens of thousands of police and troops empowered by tough security laws have angered the local population and done little to quell violence assumed to be the work of separatists. (For a related Q+A click [ID:nBKK492878]) (Reporting by Surapan Boonthanom; Writing by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Martin Petty)
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