PATTANI, THAILAND: Suspected separatist militants early Thursday fired on a Buddhist community in southern Thailand, killing five people and wounding four others, MCOT online news reported.
Five assailants, armed with machine guns and handguns, shot at passers-by and villagers in their homes from a pickup truck. The attack occurred in Pattani's Panare district during a scheduled rotation of village defense volunteers and soldiers.
In a separate incident, a rubber tapper was clubbed on his head and slashed in the neck while he drove his motorcycle home from a rubber plantation in Pattani's Yarang district.
Both attacks occurred after presumed insurgents burned tyres and public telephone booths at seven spots in Pattani on Wednesday night.
Claims that the deep South, a majority Muslim area including Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces, are gaining peace and stability have been met with new attacks.
In January 2004, Muslim militants raided a military arms depot, killing five soldiers and making off with 350 semi-automatic rifles. After the raid, Thailand's army launched a series of attacks on the separatists. Over 4,000 people have died and more than 7,000 others have been injured in the past 6 years .
(BNO NEWS )