Five killed in Thailand violence

Bangkok : Five people were killed and five others injured in a gun and bomb attack in Pattani, a violence-ridden province in southern Thailand Thursday.

The attack on a government office in Khok Pho district took place shortly before noon, leaving both government officials and civilians dead or wounded, Xinhua cited the Bangkok Post as quoting Khok Pho police investigator Surin Chhomwarathayee.

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According to Surin, an unknown number of suspected militants first sprayed bullets into the office of Magood Tambon administration organization and then planted two explosives near it. The office building was partially damaged in the attack.

On the same day, a group of suspected insurgents reportedly launched a similar attack on another government office in Yaring district, but no one was killed or injured.

Since January 2004, separatist violence has repeatedly rocked Thailand’s deep south, including three Muslim, ethnic-Malay dominated southern border provinces – Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat – and four districts of Songkhla.

Figures from the Thai military show that insurgent violence in the deep south has left more than 5,900 people dead and 10,600 others injured during the past decade.

Thailand’s interim government led by army strongman-turned-premier Prayuth Chan-ocha has recently planned to resume peace talks with southern separatists.

Previous talks between the already-deposed Yingluck Shinawatra government and insurgent groups led by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional started early last year, but got stalled in October after five rounds.