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7 Thai soldiers killed in blast; police blame Muslim insurgents

The World

May 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

BANGKOK, THAILAND — A roadside bomb killed seven Thai soldiers Wednesday in one of the deadliest attacks against security forces this year in the country's south.

The soldiers were on patrol in Narathiwat province's Rangae district when a bomb exploded near their vehicle, police Col. Manote Anandritkul said.

The explosion, triggered by an electrical wire, destroyed their pickup truck, he said.

"This was an act of revenge against the authorities for cracking down" on insurgents, the officer said.

Since a Muslim rebellion flared in Thailand's three southernmost provinces in early 2004, near-daily bombings, shootings and other attacks have killed more than 2,000 people.

Besides attacking soldiers, insurgents have targeted Buddhist civilians in what is believed to be an attempt to drive them from the area, and to stir animosity between adherents of the two religions. Muslim citizens, especially those seen as collaborating with the government, also have been killed.

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