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World

AFP
November 6, 2019

15 killed in suspected rebel attacks in Thailand

World

AFP
Wed, Nov 06, 2019

YALA: At least fifteen people were killed in attacks by militants in Thailand´s violence-wracked south, an army spokesman said on Wednesday, the latest incident in the 15-year bloody insurgency.

Thailand´s three southernmost provinces have been in the grip of a conflict that has killed more than 7,000 people, as Malay militants fight for more autonomy from the Thai state.

The region is under martial law, heavily policed by the military and sometimes staffed with trained civilian volunteers, with residents and rights groups accusing them of heavy-handed tactics.

Late Tuesday militants struck two checkpoints in Yala province manned by civil defence volunteers, opening fire on them as a group of villagers stopped to talk, southern army spokesman Pramote Prom-in told AFP.

In the largest death toll in years, "twelve were killed at the scene, two more (died) at the hospital, and one died this morning," said Pramote, adding that five others were injured.

The attackers took M-16 rifles and shotguns from the checkpoints, he said. "These acts were by militants."

Nails were also scattered on the roads in an apparent effort to slow the security forces, the army said in a separate statement.

The areas surrounding the checkpoints have been closed off and are currently under forensic investigation.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the perpetrators must "be brought to justice", according to Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich.