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Three killed in co-ordinated Southern attacks

Three killed in co-ordinated Southern attacks

At least two civilians and a soldier were killed after two dozen militants launched simultaneous attacks on a village and a military outpost in Thailand's restive south, the army said Wednesday.

By Agence France-Presse

Wednesday 18 July 2012, 03:40PM

The militants, riding pick up trucks and motorcycles, arrived at the Buddhist village in Rueso district of Narathiwat province on Tuesday evening and shot dead a young man and an elderly woman, wounding two others.

They also started a fire-fight with nearby military, leaving a 24-year-old soldier dead and four others wounded, an army spokesman said, adding he believed the attacks were in a response to a recent blitz on the insurgents' leadership.

"Some 25 militants opened fire at the (military) outpost and villagers' homes simultaneously," according to Colonel Pramote Prom-in, spokesman for the army in the southern region.

Pramote said he could not confirm reports that militants were also killed in the clash.

QSI International School Phuket

Authorities say militants are likely to stage a large-scale attack ahead of holy month of Ramadan -- which starts on Friday.

A shadowy insurgency, without clearly stated aims, has raged in Thailand's three southernmost provinces -- Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala -- since 2004.

Near-daily bomb or gun attacks have targeted both soldiers and civilians, Buddhists and Muslims, and have claimed more than 5,000 lives in eight years.

A state of emergency is in force in the worst-affected parts of the region, which rights campaigners say in effect gives the tens of thousands of military troops based in the area legal immunity and fuels rights abuses.

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