Two shot dead in Thai restive south

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Báo Tuổi Trẻ English - 99 month(s) ago 5 readings

Suspected separatists shot a couple of rubber tappers on Saturday in Thailand's troubled south, police said.

The couple were shot on their motorcycle as they were on their way to tap rubber in Pattani, one of the three southern provinces bordering Malaysia where more than 3,900 people have died in violence since 2004 blamed mostly on separatist insurgents.

The husband was shot dead instantly while the wife died later in hospital, police said.

Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces were part of an independent sultanate known as Patani until annexed in 1909 by predominantly Buddhist Thailand.

On Friday, a bomb also killed a soldier in the compound of a mosque and two other soldiers were wounded in a gun battle that subsequently broke out with suspected insurgents in Pattani.

No credible group has claimed responsibility for attacks in the region, where a majority of the people are Muslims who speak a Malay dialect as their first language and have long complained of discrimination, especially in education and job opportunities.

A massive counterinsurgency effort has occasionally slowed down the pace of the attacks but has shown little sign of ending the violence.

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