Motorcycle bomb kills two Thai soldiers

May 01, 2012 - 8:19:32 pm

BANGKOK: Two Thai military rangers were killed and six were wounded yesterday when a bomb planted in a motorcycle exploded in the southern province of Pattani, a police officer said.

At least 5,000 people have been killed in southern Thailand since 2004 in violence attributed to Muslim separatists.

Thailand is predominantly Buddhist but the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are Muslim-dominated and were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate until annexed by Thailand in 1909.

Police told Reuters that the soldiers from a ranger unit were travelling in a pickup truck, heading to an outpost when a bomb of up to 10 kg (22 lb) was remotely detonated on a road near a military camp. About 30,000 troops are in the region, trying to crush the insurgency, but they have had little success.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited the region on Sunday to meet religious and community leaders as well as officials from state agencies, insisting that the government wanted to restore peace. Reuters