Bomb kills one, wounds 18 in Thailand south (video)

Other News Materials 17 July 2007 11:59 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuters ) - A motorcycle bomb killed a policeman and wounded 18 people in Thailand's rebellious Muslim-majority far south on Tuesday, an army spokesman said.

Most of the wounded were forensic police, soldiers and journalists drawn to the scene by an earlier bomb blast at the site, Colonel Acra Tiproch told Reuters.

"Police were actually on alert for booby traps, but they let their guards down after nothing happened in the 20 minutes after they arrived," he said.

The second bomb, triggered by a remote device, was hidden under the pillion of a motorcycle parked in front of a shop in Yala, capital of the province of the same name, Acra said.

Yala is one of three southern provinces that have borne the brunt of the latest separatist campaign by Muslim militants in the region in which more than 2,300 people have been killed since it erupted in 2004.

Government forces have detained more than 340 suspected militants in a sweep through Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces, the three where most of the violence has occurred, and neighbouring Songkhla provinces this month, Acra said.

"This is their first serious retaliation since we rounded up several hundred of them, which must have left them with no place to hide," he said.