Separatist attacks kill two in Thailand

  • 20/04/2017
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Getty)
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Getty)

A string of bomb and gun attacks have killed two people in southern Thailand and wounded three others, a senior military spokesman says.

The attacks took place in 11 districts in Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla provinces near the border with Malaysia late on Wednesday.

The region has seen a long-running separatist insurgency: more than 6500 people, most of them civilians, have died in separatist violence since 2004, when resistance to Buddhist rule flared up.

Thailand is mostly Buddhist but parts of the south are majority Muslim. The attacks on Wednesday targeted security forces, including police and troops, and civilians, a spokesman for the military said.

"This is the work of people who want to cause chaos. It looks like their intention wasn't to kill but rather to cause disorder," Colonel Yutthanam Petchmuang, a spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command, told Reuters.

As of Wednesday evening, no group had claimed responsibility.

Talks between the Thai government and a handful of shadowy insurgent groups began in 2013 under the civilian government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but have stalled since the military overthrew her in 2014.

Earlier this month Thailand's military junta rejected a conditional offer from the main Muslim separatist group fighting in the south to enter into formal peace talks.