Bomb kills three Buddhists in Thai Muslim south
BANGKOK, May 10: A bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded in a busy market in Thailand's restive Muslim south today, killing two Buddhist women and a soldier and wounding 13 shoppers, police said.
Both women were teachers and one was three months pregnant, police said. They said the soldier, also Buddhist, died on the way to the hospital.
''The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle that was parked next to a truck bringing soldiers to the market to buy their daily stuff,'' police Colonel Somporn Meesuk told Reuters by telephone from the scene in the province of Pattani.
The truck was parked in front of a small restaurant where people were queuing up to buy food, he said.
Police still could not say how the bomb, which destroyed three motorcycles, was detonated although militants often set them off using mobile phones.
More than 1,300 people have been killed in two years of separatist violence in the three Muslim-majority provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
The government of overwhelmingly Buddhist Thailand has tried many ways to end the violence and win the hearts and minds of the 1.8 million people in the region bordering Malaysia, ranging from brute force to promises of development aid.
Yet militant attacks on security forces, officials and ordinary people continue almost daily in the region where most people speak a Malay dialect.