The 5kg bomb hidden in a motorcycle parked in front of the ice-cream shop on Suwanmongkol Road in Muang district was detonated remotely about 1.30pm.Nisofian Nisani, nine, was buying ice at the shop at the time of the blast and was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.
The boy's mother, Waeleemoh Jehloh, and Anan Yiamkamnuan, the ice-cream shop owner, are among the 14 others who were injured.
The explosion also damaged the ice-cream shop, 12 motorcycles, three cars and shattered the windows of 10 nearby buildings, including a probation office and police cooperative shop.
The area is an evening market site and some merchants had begun setting up stalls when the bomb exploded.
Pattani governor Pramuk Lamul condemned the attackers for killing the boy and injuring several civilians.
"They are all innocent people. I beg the assailants to stop harming the people," Mr Pramuk said. He said authorities are checking surveillance cameras to search for suspects.
The explosion took place only a week before Thursday's talks between Thai security authorities, led by National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Paradorn Patanatabut, and representatives of the insurgent Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) movement in Malaysia.
Lt Gen Paradorn said the bombing could be the work of insurgent members who disagreed with the peace talks or those who want to be included in the negotiation process. He said the public should not expect the violence to end as soon as the talks begin.
"There is nothing unusual about violent attacks during the negotiation process. This happens in many places when conflicting parties initiate peace talks," Lt Gen Paradorn said. "The bomb attack will not derail the talks."
The Thai delegation will consist of 15 representatives from agencies including the army; the Office of the Chularatchamontri, the Islamic spiritual leader; governors of the three southern border provinces; academics; and a women's group. A negotiating team source, however, told Isra News Centre the NSC has yet to finalise the list of negotiators.
The source said several people have been nominated to join the delegation and the NSC had to make difficult choices in cutting the list down to 15.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat yesterday led a group of reporters and commentators to Yala province.
ACM Sukumpol said he wanted journalists to see how security forces perform their duty and the actual conditions in troubled areas so the media can report the situation more accurately.
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