Bomb blasts in southern Thailand injure 11
Bomb blasts in Thailand's restive province of Narathiwat injured eleven people Monday, police said, dpa reported.
A bomb packed on a motorcycle exploded at 6:40 am in an open-air market, injuring two policemen and eight civilians.
"We had been warned about bomb attacks but we didn't expect one in the city," Narathiwat Police Sub-Lieutenant Anusorn Wanglee said.
Another bomb went off Monday morning outside a coffee shop at Sugai Koloh, 770 kilometres south of Bangkok, injuring one policeman.
They were the latest acts of violence to hit Thailand's troubled deep south, a Muslim-majority region comprising Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces.
The region bordering Malaysia has lost 3,700 people to separatist-related violence over the last five years.
Of the 300,000 Thai Buddhists who used to live in the region, about 70,000 have left since separatists raided an Army depot in January 2004, killing four soldiers and making off with 300 weapons, leading to an escalation of the region's long-simmering separatist struggle.
The incident sparked a series of brutal government crackdowns on the separatist movement, which turned much of the 2 million population, 80 per cent of whom are Muslim, against the central government.
Although the region, which centuries ago was the independent Islamic sultanate of Pattani, was conquered by Bangkok about 200 years ago, it has never wholly submitted to Thai rule.
Analysts say the region's Muslim population, the majority of whom speak a Malay dialect and follow Malay customs, feels alienated from the predominantly Buddhist Thai state.