Thailand: 3 killed in attack on troops as insurgents rack up violence in south

The fierce gun battle started at around 9:30 pm local time and ended just before midnight.

Thailand blasts: 4 dead in multiple blasts at Thai Resorts, several tourists injured
Picture for representation Reuters

At least three people have been killed in a series of attacks targeting military personnel in the provinces of Songkhla, Narathiwat and Pattani in the Muslim-dominated southern part of Thailand.

Ffierce gun battles started at around 9:30 pm local time on Wednesday and was followed by waves of bombings, shootings and arson attacks before it ended at midnight.

It was reported that militants killed two security guards at a car showroom and bombed a building in Songkhla. In Pattani, four gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire at a military facility, killing one soldier.

The situation is tense in southern Thailand provinces infested with hardline Islamic militancy. A large number of police and military forces have also been deployed to keep vigil and ensure safety. Police personnel are stationed in several locations, especially near schools which re-opened for the second semester this week.

Authorities have beefed up the overall security in and around the region and installed checkpoints along major roads, reported Channel News Asia.

This attack in the southern provinces came as Thai interim cabinet members arrived in Pattani to discuss the ongoing peace dialogue, according to the news portal.

Thailand has suffered sporadic violence by separatists for more than a decade now, in which thousands of people have been killed. However, it is only recently that the violence in the Muslim-majority southern provinces has surged as the insurgents continue to seek greater regional autonomy.

In August, a series of bombs exploded in five provinces in Thailand targeting the crucial tourism industry of the nation and killed at least four people and injured many others.

"The bombs are an attempt to create chaos and confusion. We should not make people panic more," Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha told AFP.

"Why have the bombs occurred as our country is heading towards stability, a better economy and tourism -- and who did it? You have to find out," he added.

On 2 September, Thailand's junta government and Muslim separatists ended their peace talks, started in 2013 under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, after the insurgents denied the responsibility for a series of bombings in the tourist towns.