World Bulletin / News Desk
A series of bomb explosions have shaken Muslim majority region of Pattani in southern Thailand overnight, killing three people and injuring 14, Thai police said Friday.
Eight bombs exploded in Rang-ngae district -- one of the most violence prone areas of Narathiwat -- between 7 p.m. (1200GMT) and 9 p.m. late Thursday, Police Colonel Pakdi Prichachon told Anadolu Agency.
“Most of the explosions did not injure anyone, but a remote controlled bomb hidden in a motorbike parked near a shop in Rang-ngae city killed one soldier and two civilians and injured 14 people,” said the officer.
The soldier killed was part of a squad sent to patrol the area after the first explosion, he added.
The southern insurgency is rooted in a century-old ethno-cultural conflict between the Malay Muslim population -- predominant in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and some districts of Songhkla -- and the Thai central state, where Buddhism is de facto considered the national religion.
In 2004, a rejuvenated armed movement -- composed of numerous local cells of fighters loosely grouped around the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, or National Revolutionary Front -- re-emerged.
Since then, the conflict has killed 6,400 people and injured over 11,000, making it one of the deadliest low-intensity conflicts on the planet.
A peace dialogue was begun by the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2013, but was suspended in December of that year due to political tensions in Bangkok.
The May 22, 2014 coup -- which overthrew Shinawatra’s government and brought a junta to power -- made a possible peaceful solution to the conflict seem less likely, even though the military are continuing the dialogue.
The last round of peace talks were held in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 25.