PATTANI – A car bomb in the insurgent-torn province of Pattani injured eight soldiers and one civilian who were passing by in a truck when the device exploded at 9am this morning, police say.
According to officers, the 15-kilogram car bomb caused damages reaching a 100 meter radius around the blast site on Route 42 in Nong Chik district.
The car used in the bombing was reported stolen after its owner was murdered last month in the neighboring province of Yala, police said.
Authorities believe the explosive was planted by Islamic insurgents who stage regular attacks in the region in a bid to secede the three Muslim-majority provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat.
According to data compiled by rights groups, the protracted conflict has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people – mostly civilians – in the three provinces known as the Deep South.
Suspected insurgents have planted more than 3,000 homemade explosives in the past decade, but less than 50 car bombs since 2004, when the most recent waves of secessionist violence broke out.
Yesterday, suspected insurgents shot and killed four soldiers in Yala.
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