Four Thai rangers killed by bomb in restive south

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Four Thai rangers killed by bomb in restive south

Bangkok, Apr 27 (AFP) Four Thai army rangers were shot dead in an ambush after a roadside bomb toppled their truck in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued south today, police said, the latest rebel attack to undermine already stagnant peace talks.

The Muslim-majority border region has seethed with violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay insurgents battle the Buddhist-majority state for more autonomy.

Near daily shooting and bomb attacks have claimed more than 6,800 lives since 2004, with both sides accused of rights abuses and atrocities.

The toll rose today after an army patrol team was gunned down in Narathiwat province after their pickup truck was hit by a roadside explosive.

“After the car tipped over the road four (rangers) were shot dead at the scene,” said provincial police commander Manas Suksamas.

The violence comes after the most prominent insurgent group rejected peace talks organised by the ruling junta in a rare press statement earlier this month.

The shadowy Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) is believed to be behind much of the violence, although it never claims attacks and shuns publicity.

Experts have long said it is not loyal to a group of rebel negotiators that have been meeting with the Thai junta, which seized power in 2014.

The Thai government has consistently refused to talk to BRN even though it has the most control over the insurgents.

The BRN called for international involvement in the talks, which have so far born little fruit. (AFP) KJ

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.