A series of bomb blasts rocked Thailand’s Muslim-majority south Wednesday August 1, killing one and wounding at least 19, while a string of shootings left 10 people dead, police said. Seven coordinated blasts occurred around 7:45 am Wednesday August 1 at locations around Narathiwat, one of three provinces along the southern border with Malaysia hit by deadly separatist unrest.
A 49-year-old Buddhist woman was killed and 10 others wounded when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded in a busy market, police said.
A roadside bomb wounded two marines who were part of a security detail protecting a convoy of schoolteachers.
Two bombs exploded at Kasikornbank branches and three others went off at other spots around Narathiwat town, but no one was injured in those blasts, police said. The bombings followed the deaths of two Muslim villagers, a 61-year-old father and his 26-year-old son, who were gunned down at their home in Narathiwat, police said.
Meanwhile in nearby Yala province, two soldiers were killed and two seriously wounded in an ambush by Islamic separatists, police said. The dead soldiers were both Muslims, aged 32 and 22, who were part of a four-man patrol that was protecting railway lines in Yala, police said. The militants stole the soldiers’ weapons before escaping, police added.
Also in Yala, patrolling policemen shot dead five suspected militants in a 20-minute gunbattle after coming under attack, police said.
A 62-year-old Muslim man was also shot dead by militants while walking towards a mosque in Yala, they added.
In Songkhla province, next to the three troubled provinces, a bomb hidden in a motorcycle went off in front of a police box, wounding two policemen and five civilians, police said.
More than 2,400 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in separatist violence that has rocked southern Thailand for three-years. The restive region was an autonomous Malay sultanate until it was annexed a century ago by Buddhist Thailand.