A roadside bomb killed one paramilitary ranger and wounded five others Monday as they were patrolling a trouble-torn district in Narathiwat - part of Thailand's deep South, police said.
The remotely controlled 20-kilogram bomb exploded at about 10 am (0300 GMT) in Ruesoh district of Narathiwat, 800 kilometres south of Bangkok, as a pickup truck carrying a patrol of paramilitary troops passed by, said Ruesoh Police Sergeant Paosri Jaetae, reported dpa.
"We think influential people hired Muslim militants to do this in order to create chaos," said Paosri.
The country's deep South, where more than 2,700 Thais have died violently over the past four years, has been wracked by a separatist struggle for decades which took a turn for the worse in January 2004, when Muslim militants seized an army arms depot making off with 300 weapons.
Besides the separatist struggle, the region - including Narathiwat, Pattani and Yal provinces bordering Malaysia - is rife with illegal activities such as drug smuggling operated by "influential people" who benefit from the state of fear and disorder.
The three provinces comprised the independent Islamic sultanate of Pattani more than 200 years ago before it fell under Bangkok's rule. More than 80 per cent of the three provinces' 2 million people are Muslim, making the region an anomaly in predominantly Buddhist Thailand.