Sunday, February 13, 2011

Travel Warning! - Car bomb injures 18 in Thai south

A car bomb exploded Sunday in a city in Thailand's insurgency-plagued far south, injuring 18 people, including four soldiers. The blast outside a bank started a large fire that swept through nearby shops in Yala, the main city in one of three provinces near the Malaysian border that have been under emergency rule since 2005.

Shadowy Islamic insurgents have waged a violent campaign in Thailand's southernmost region since early 2004, leaving more than 4,400 people dead, including both Muslims and Buddhists, in near-daily attacks. Violence appears to have intensified recently: a bomb attack in Yala province killed nine villagers last month and an unusually bold attack by militants a week earlier on a military base left at least four soldiers dead.

On Thursday three people, including a teacher, were shot dead and their bodies burned in neighbouring Pattani province, in one of a series of gun attacks in the region last week.

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