World Bulletin / News Desk
Three police were killed and at least 17 other people injured when a powerful bomb exploded Friday evening at a beach in Thailand’s Muslim south, just days before the tenth anniversary of a massacre of separatist rebels by the military.
The remote-control bomb exploded at a beach in Pattani province that was packed with competitors and spectators during a fishing competition, Police Colonel Panya Karavanan told the Anadolu Agency.
The three officers killed in the attack were in charge of ensuring security at the event. Numerous vehicles parked near the beach were heavily damaged.
The bomb attack was the most violent incident in southern Thailand this month.
On April 6, four simultaneous bomb blasts hit the heart of Yala province's commercial district. One car bomb almost took out an entire city block, leaving one person dead and four seriously wounded.
Thailand's three Muslim-dominated southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat have been wracked by a Muslim insurgency since Siam (the name of Thailand pre-1939) took control of what was then a Malay Sultanate following an Anglo-Siamese treaty in 1907.
The insurgency became a full-blown civil war in the 1960s when the Bangkok government tried to control education in the region's Islamic schools.
In January 2004, a rejuvenated insurgency movement launched a series of attacks that shook up the Thai State. Since then bomb attacks, drive-by shootings and ambushes have happened on an almost daily basis.
Tensions usually mount around the anniversaries marking violent incidents during which security forces killed large numbers of rebels.
On April 28, 2004 the Thai military killed 32 armed rebels who had barricaded themselves in the Kruze Mosque, the oldest in Pattani province, in an assault that was launched contrary to defense ministry orders.
The military officer who ordered the assault faced no judicial process or disciplinary sanction.
The Kruze massacre has become a symbol of Malay Muslim rebels’ struggle against the Thai state.Last Mod: 26 Nisan 2014, 13:01